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Downing Street ‘Union Directorate’ to double in size to 30 to 50 staff members

12 Feb 2021 2 minute read
Westminster Government Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Annika Haas (CC BY 2.0)

A Downing Street ‘Union Unit’ tasked with finding ways of keeping the UK intact will be replaced by a ‘Union Directorate’ double or triple in size.

According to Scotland’s Press and Journal newspaper, the Union Directorate will draft as many as “30 to 50” officials to help formulate policy and hone communications.

The shift follows the departure of Boris Johnson’s advisor on the union, Luke Graham, the former MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, who left after what was described as “brutal” row.

One senior government source told the Press and Journal: “The strategy has been a bit like the US dealing with the Viet Cong.

“The generals there were playing chess, trying to land that killer blow, but the game they should have been playing was Go, where you surround the opposing side.

“There’s too much soft support for independence.”


Earlier this week adverts for posts in the Union Directorate were placed online, offering posts in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The listing on, says: “The Union Directorate is a small, focused team of policy professionals, analysts, comms experts and external secondees with a focus on making the benefits of the Union clear, visible and understood.

“The Union Directorate is responsible for the overall Union strategy, as well as driving delivery across Whitehall and beyond.”

Responding to the ads placed by No 10 Downing Street, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville-Roberts said the Union Unit was “yet another half-baked Johnson initiative”.

“A change of personnel can’t breathe life into this lost cause. Wales will find a future of hope and ambition through independence,” she said.

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