Munira Mirza’s resignation over Boris Johnson’s refusal to withdraw his Savile barb at Keir Starmer led to Downing Street bringing forward the departure of various senior staff. Johnson’s shadow whipping operation were keen to emphasise that these were the very changes to his operation that he had promised Tory MPs on Monday night.
Leaving aside the fact that these departures looked rather chaotic, the real challenge will come with whether Johnson can persuade anyone to come into Downing Street. As I say in the Times today, the failure to get Lynton Crosby to take on a formal role shows how difficult it will be to get the kind of big hitters into the building that Tory MPs are expecting.
The other challenge is that all these appointments will be viewed through the lens of which faction is up and which is down. When Johnson hired Dan Rosenfield, he took great pride that Rosenfield had previously been a civil servant: no one could identify him with any Tory camp. But, ultimately, Rosenfield’s lack of knowledge of the Tory party was one of the things that meant he didn’t work in that role. So, Johnson will be reluctant to go down that route again.
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