Johnson looking for a new boss for the hellish communications machine

The pandemic, the reopening, the vaccination campaign: these are the issues at the center of the British government's agenda but Whitehall, the Permanent Government, does not stop its activity. Neither did his power struggles. In fact, James Slack's resignation as head of communication for Downing Street is very recent. Johnson has kicked off the hunt for the replacement – destined for an editor-in-chief at the Sun – and everyone is scrambling for a role Slack inherited last December following Lee Cain's resignation.

The role is very delicate, especially in this phase: wake up at dawn, reasoned reading of newspapers and watching TV programs, briefing for the prime minister, return home late at night. That's why Slack – married and with 3 children – said enough. Indiscretions, tips and a tight brawl to access Johnson's narrow circle have thus begun. It is difficult to predict who will prevail but the candidates are very fierce.

Among the rumors circulated there is what would see Johnson looking for a female strengthening of his staff, even if with Allegra Stratton, the head of the Downing Street press office, and Munira Mirza, director of the Policy Unit , it certainly cannot be said that the premier is surrounded only by male éminences grises . The evil ones claim that the last word – as for Cain's farewell and Cummings – Carrie Symonds, BoJo's partner, will have it.

One of the favorites for the role is Jack Doyle, a former parliamentary reporter for the Daily Mail , and the premier's deputy director of communications after Cain's farewell. For many it is physiological that he steps up a step at this stage: he knows the Whitehall machine and the difficulties of working in a super-competitive staff like Johnson's. But he may not be the only insider craving the position.

There is also Allegra Stratton, sponsored by Symonds, and already the leader of daily television news reports for the press which should begin, almost 6 months late, next May. It is said that Slack was against this new form of American communication and that he slowed down Stratton in her new role as Downing Street image woman. Who knows.

Meg Powell-Chandler is also in the running for the role. She is Johnson's deputy chief of staff, with responsibility for strategic communications. Powell Chandler can look back on over 10 years of service in the Tory Party and the premier's esteem.

Among the front-runners is Isaac Levido, the communications director of the 2019 election campaign. Levido was then called back by Johnson during the first days of the Covid emergency to shape the government's message to UK citizens. However, among his enemies are those who have pointed out that he has just founded his own public affairs company , Fleetwood Strategy , and may be more focused on its development than on a top role in Downing Street.

Politico's director, Alex Wickham, is also among the eligible candidates. His relationship with Johnson and Symonds is a plus that could be played for a role in which a certain intimacy with the employer is essential.

Last but not least , there is Will Walden, Executive Director for Edelman's strategic communication in London. Walden has already worked with Johnson when BoJo was mayor of the capital and knows the premier's modus operandi . He is a historic BBC journalist with the necessary authority to pick up on the run – and on the run! – the government's infernal communication machine.

The post Johnson in search of a new boss for the infernal communication machine appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Thu, 08 Apr 2021 03:49:00 +0000.