Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023

Four senior aides to Boris Johnson resign from No 10

Four senior aides to Boris Johnson resign from No 10

Four senior aides to Boris Johnson have resigned from Downing Street within hours of each other amid growing pressure on the prime minister.

Director of communications Jack Doyle confirmed his exit shortly after the departure of policy head Munira Mirza.

They were followed by the chief of staff Dan Rosenfield and senior civil servant Martin Reynolds.

The top aides' resignations come as Mr Johnson faces increasing questions over his leadership from within his party.

Mr Doyle told staff that "recent weeks have taken a terrible toll on my family life", but that he had always intended to leave after two years.

A statement from a No 10 spokeswoman said Mr Rosenfield had offered his resignation to the prime minister earlier on Thursday, but would stay on while his successor was found.

And Mr Reynolds - the prime minister's principal private secretary - will do the same, but then return to a role at the Foreign Office.

A number of MPs supportive of the prime minister have been tweeting praise, suggesting Mr Johnson was responsible for making necessary staff changes following a damning report by civil servant Sue Gray into rule breaking parties in No 10 during the pandemic.

However, Ms Mirza quit over the PM's false claim that Sir Keir Starmer failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was director of public prosecutions, and his refusal to apologise.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak publicly distanced himself from the PM's original comment, saying: "Being honest, I wouldn't have said it."

And asked if Mr Johnson should apologise, he said: "That's for the prime minister to decide."

Labour's deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said: "No amount of reorganising Downing Street can clean up the sleaze that comes straight from the top.

"With [Mr Johnson's] senior advisers and aides quitting, perhaps it is finally time for him to look in the mirror and consider if he might just be the problem."

The biggest shock amongst these resignations is without doubt Munira Mirza's.

Boris Johnson's policy chief, a key adviser for well over a decade, she's defended him in the past when he's made controversial comments.

No-one expected her to go.

To publicise a letter with direct criticism of Mr Johnson, saying he was wrong to attack Sir Keir Starmer the way he did and should have apologised, is certainly damaging.

The other three resignations are the prime minister's top team, who run his office, his press operation, and advise him day to day.

It leaves a huge hole.

But Mr Johnson promised a shake-up after the partygate scandals to his MPs earlier this week so their departures were always possible in the light of that affair.

This evening, Tory MPs have been tweeting that "change, as promised" is happening. It seems a co-ordinated attempt to put a positive spin on what on the face of it looked chaotic.

The real question is whether all this prompts more Tory MPs to call, publicly for the prime minister to go.

Letters of no confidence

The wave of resignations comes at a tumultuous time for Mr Johnson as backbench unrest is growing within the Conservative Party.

The BBC is aware of 17 Tory MPs who have submitted letters of no confidence in the prime minister, with a total of 54 needed to trigger a leadership contest.

Many have cited the PM's participation in parties with staff in No 10 during lockdowns as their motivation to challenge Mr Johnson.

These gatherings included a "bring your own booze" garden party in May 2020 - the email invite to which was sent by Mr Reynolds.

The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into 12 of the parties and a full report by Ms Gray is expected to be published afterwards.

Who are the aides who have resigned?

The head of policy at No 10, Munira Mirza has worked for Boris Johnson for 14 years, including when he was mayor of London, and was seen as one of his most trusted advisers.

Jack Doyle worked as a journalist for the Daily Mail before joining Downing Street. He is reported to have attended one of the Christmas gatherings in December 2020, where he thanked staff for their work.

Martin Reynolds is a civil servant and worked as Boris Johnson's Principal Private Secretary. In that role, he headed up the PM's private office. He is responsible for sending an email invitation to staff inviting them to socially distanced drinks in the No 10 garden in May 2020.

Dan Rosenfield joined Number 10 as chief of staff in January 2021, and had worked in the Treasury for former chancellors Alistair Darling and George Osborne. He took over the chief of staff job from long-standing Johnson aide Sir Edward Lister.

Other MPs have pointed to the PM's remark about Sir Keir as one of their reasons for writing a letter, including senior backbencher and defence committee chairman Tobias Ellwood.

During a debate on the findings of a report into lockdown parties on Monday, Mr Johnson accused the Labour leader of spending "most of his time" as director of public prosecutions (DPP) "prosecuting journalists and failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile", despite having no evidence to back up the claim.

Disc jockey and TV personality Savile was revealed to be a serial sexual abuser after his death in 2011, having attacked hundreds of women and children at various locations including hospitals, schools and the BBC.

By Thursday, Mr Johnson appeared to have backed down, telling reporters he had not been talking about Sir Keir's "personal record" when he was DPP, adding: "I totally understand that he had nothing to do personally with those decisions."

But in her resignation letter, published by the Spectator, Ms Mirza said the PM should have apologised for the misleading remarks.

Speaking to Channel 5 News after Ms Mirza quit - but before the news of the other resignations was made public - the prime minister said he was "sorry to lose Munira", who had worked with him since he became Mayor of London in 2008.

He said she had "done an outstanding job" and had been "instrumental in delivering all sorts of fantastic policies".

But asked about her conclusion that his remarks about Sir Keir had been "inappropriate and partisan", Mr Johnson replied: "Well I don't agree with that."

He said: "No-one is commenting, least of all me, about the personal involvement of the leader of the opposition in the handling of that case.

"All that I've said is that the leader of the opposition apologised for the CPS's handling of that issue during his tenure and that's all frankly that needs to be said on that matter."

Downing Street confirmed that Tory MP Andrew Griffith would take over from Ms Mirza as the head of the PM's policy unit, as well as become the minister for policy.

Sunak on PM's Savile claims: "I wouldn't have said it."


Related Articles

AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
UK: Humza Yousaf replaces Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister in Scotland
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Reform Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, has provided a list of five areas that he believes the black community needs to address.
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and JD.com, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT