Monday, February 26

100 days: Who are the key players in Boris Johnson’s government?



One hundred days have passed since Boris Johnson re-entered Number 10 after winning the general election. Here’s a look at the key players who have supported the PM in office.

Dominic Cummings

The PM’s de facto chief of staff was credited with creating the take back control slogan in the 2016 referendum, and is thought to have been central to the Brexit messaging in the election campaign.

Mr Cummings rose to notoriety in politics first as an adviser to Michael Gove and then as campaign director at the official Brexit group.

He has come under public criticism in recent months over the treatment of Government special advisers and suggested a trio of cartoon crime fighters would do a better job than the Cabinet before February’s reshuffle.

The PM’s director of communication is a former journalist who reportedly dressed as a chicken to mock David Cameron during his time as Tory leader.

He was Mr Johnson’s special adviser as foreign secretary, and worked with him throughout his leadership campaign – being rewarded with the top communications job in Number 10.

Mr Cain was at the centre of a spat between political journalists and Number 10 earlier this year, which led to reporters from across the media spectrum boycotting a Downing Street briefing.

Carrie Symonds

The Prime Minister’s fiancee, 32, moved into Downing Street with Mr Johnson when he became Tory leader and PM last year.

An environmental campaigner and public relations expert, she announced earlier this month that she was expecting her first child with Mr Johnson.

The couple holidayed in Mustique over the Christmas period, and she has been seen alongside the PM at some Downing Street events.

Sir Edward Lister

The Prime Minister’s chief strategic adviser resigned as chairman of affordable housing body Homes England to take up a role in Number 10 in August last year.

He formerly served as a non-executive director at the Foreign Office, and was chief of staff to the then mayor of London, Mr Johnson, between 2011 and 2016.

Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance

The chief medical adviser and chief scientific officer have become household names since the outbreak of coronavirus, and have been central to the PM’s decision making during the crisis.

Prof Whitty is an epidemiologist and practising physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, while Sir Patrick was president of research and development at GlaxoSmithKline, a clinical academic and a consultant physician.

The two have flanked Mr Johnson during most of the major press conferences relating to the Covid-19 outbreak.