Dominic Cummings attacks Guto Harri appointment as No 10 PR chief
Dominic Cummings has attacked Guto Harri following the Welsh broadcaster’s appointment as the new Downing Street PR chief.
Boris Johnson’s former advisor, who is locked in a bitter feud with his old boss, has shared a message he said he’s received from inside No 10, which pejoratively described Harri a “pro-Remain lobbyist”.
The message shared by Cummings in Twitter also included a number of disparaging remarks about Johnson by Harri, as well as a clown face emoji, and the hashtag #RegimeChange.
The move to appoint Y Byd yn ei Le presenter Harri, who was Johnson’s PR chief during his tenure as Mayor of London, comes following the resignation of Jack Doyle as the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications last week.
In a tweet yesterday, Cummings wrote:
Message from No10:
'So our new boss is a pro-Remain lobbyist who's said the PM is 'sexually incontinent', 'hugely divisive', 'destructive', 'dragging the country down', & picked 'wrong side' in referendum' GREAT 🤡'#RegimeChange
— Dominic Cummings (@Dominic2306) February 5, 2022
The Spectator’s political gossip columnist, Steerpike, has pointed to “disparaging comments” about Johnson by Harri in the last decade.
In an article called ‘five times Harri attacked the prime minister’, Steerpike suggested that Johnson was having a “tough time in finding someone who hadn’t slagged him off to come and join his team.”
Following Johnson’s resignation from the post of Foreign Secretary in 2018, twelve months before becoming PM, Harri suggested that Johnson’s backing of Brexit had “destroyed him…as nobody believed that he was sincere”
Later that year in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster Harri said that Johnson’s inflammatory language as well as being “sexually incontinent” would scupper his ambitions to become PM
In a Telegraph article in November 2020 Harri claimed “the communications strategy during this Covid crisis has been a masterclass in incompetence’ and that with his confrontational manner had ‘been relentlessly causing offence”
Commenting on the alleged Downing Street parties in an appearance on Newsnight last month Harri accused the PM of not providing “enough context” in his partygate apology, saying “I think we can safely assume that there were many more gatherings like this because it seems to be a pattern.
“Somebody needs to put them in context and explain, yes maybe they’re unforgivable but they’re also understandable at the time in some ways.
“The problem at the moment is that nobody seems to be getting a grip, and the Prime Minister has to invite an inquiry to conclude what went on in his own house.”
Reacting to the news of the appointment of Guto Harri and Steve Barclay last night, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies praised the appointment, saying: “Good decisions Boris Johnson. Congratulations Steve Barclay and Guto Harri”.
Steve Barclay has been appointed the new Downing Street chief of staff, but he will stay on a minister and create a new Office of the Prime Minister across No 10 and the Cabinet Office, where he is now based, according to The Sunday Times journalist. Barclay replaces Dan Rosenfield in the post.
Vale of Glamorgan MP, Alun Cairns welcomed the news, saying:
I worked in Cabinet and Whips Office with @SteveBarclay He is hugely impressive and a great doer. Having known @Guto_Harri for 30 years, he is a first class comms professional and really understands the focus around levelling up. Great news all round.
— Alun Cairns (@AlunCairns) February 5, 2022
In a post on Twitter, Tim Shipman, Chief Political Commentator, Sunday Times said: “Johnson putting the old gang back together.”
Johnson said: “This week I promised change, so that we can get on with the job the British public elected us to do. We need to continue our recovery from the pandemic, help hundreds of thousands more people into work, and deliver our ambitious agenda to level up the entire country, improving people’s opportunities regardless of where they’re from.
“The changes I’m announcing to my senior team today will improve how No 10 operates, strengthen the role of my cabinet and backbench colleagues, and accelerate our defining mission to level up the country.”
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