British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday appointed a new chief of staff, as he rebuilds his main team after the ‘Partygate’ scandal, the parties held at the official seat of the Government, number 10 Downing Street, at the toughest moment of the pandemic and with the strictest restrictions in force.
Cabinet minister Steve Barclay, a former Brexit minister under Theresa May’s administration, will lead Johnson’s team. while Guto Harri will be the new communication director. Harri, a former BBC journalist, had previously served as Johnson’s spokesman during his first stint as mayor of London.
“The changes I am announcing today to my senior team will improve the way No 10 operateswill strengthen the role of my cabinet colleagues and members of parliament,” Johnson said in a statement. after a week in which four top Downing Street officials have resigned.
“This week I promised changes so that we do the job the British people chose us to do. We need to continue to recover from the pandemic, help hundreds of thousands of people get jobs, and deliver on our ambitious agenda to improve the entire country,” Johnson explained.
The British prime minister, who won the largest Conservative majority in 2019 since Margaret Thatcher in 1987, has repeatedly refused to resign over reports that he and some of his aides attended parties at the seat of government during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Those revelations raised questions about Johnson’s often chaotic leadership style and have led to the biggest threat against him since he took office. They follow a series of other scandals.
Johnson has admitted that there is a need to fix the problems at the heart of Downing Street, which is both his home and the nerve center of the British state.
It remains to be seen whether cleaning up Johnson’s team will be enough to see him through the crisis, as his personal rating has plummeted and his party has fallen far behind Labor in opinion polls.
With information from Reuters and EuropaPress