Plugging giant leak! Boris giving ex-Brexit Sec Barclay top job desperate last resort

Boris Johnson has ‘abandoned Brexit’ says Gerald Howarth

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This evening it emerged that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will become the PM’s chief of staff. His new role came as Mr Johnson also appointed former BBC journalist Guto Harri as his director of communications.

The former GB News presenter was the PM’s spokesman and chief of staff during his first term as London Mayor.

News of the latest reshuffle came as a slew of top Government advisors left their roles amid the ongoing “partygate” scandal which threatens to end Mr Johnson’s premiership.

Departures include policy chief Munira Murza and communications director Jack Doyle.

It centres around at least a dozen gatherings in Downing Street which allegedly broke lockdown rules.

As he continually battles to save his political career – Mr Barclay’s appointment was met with much derision from all sides.

Former Government advisor and political expert Mujtaba Rahman even joked that the Tory MP “wouldn’t be your first choice”.

He tweeted: “Guto Harri at comms is a good appointment in a key job. He’s a pro.

“A bit underwhelmed by Barclay. Johnson obv rates him but he didn’t shine as Brexit Sec.

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“Looks rather like plugging a giant leak in an emergency with quickest fix but wouldn’t be your first choice.

“Suspect many others turned down chief of staff job. Unwilling to join sinking ship.

“Aimed at placating Tory MPs – Johnson’s key audience – by promising them more influence on policy (many don’t buy it).

“Wasn’t supposed to be announced until next week but rushed out after Mirza quit.”

Announcing the appointments, Mr Johnson said: “This week I promised change so that we can get on with the job the British public elected us to do.

“We need to continue our recovery from the pandemic, help hundreds of thousands more people into work, and deliver our ambitious agenda to level up the entire country, improving people’s opportunities regardless of where they’re from.

“The changes I’m announcing to my senior team today will improve how No 10 operates, strengthen the role of my Cabinet and backbench colleagues, and accelerate our defining mission to level up the country.”

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