Guto Harri ‘will become new Scaramucci’ unless he stays out of the news says former Canadian PM comms director
Guto Harri may become the new Anthony Scaramucci unless he manages to stay out of the news, according to the former communication director of a Canadian Prime Minister.
Andrew MacDougall said that Guto Harri’s “loose-lipped” interview with Welsh language news website Golwg360 may ensure that he will not stay at No 10 Downing Street for long unless he is able to take the news spotlight off himself.
There was a danger that he could become the new Anthony Scaramucci, who became White House Director of Communications for only 10 days under President Donald Trump but was then fired, Andrew MacDougall said.
“Harri debuted with a bang, quickly becoming the talk of the Westminster village with a loose-lipped Welsh-language interview in which he referred to new (old) boss Boris Johnson as ‘not a complete clown’,” Andrew MacDougall said in the Times newspaper.
“If Harri is indeed starting as he means to go on, his tenure might end up being measured in Scaramuccis, and Johnson might achieve the incredible feat of outlasting his new recruit to Downing Street.”
He added: “So, will Harri make it past one Scaramucci (ten days)? Three Scarameech (a month)? Or will he ultimately survive however long his master is able to extend his stay in Downing Street?”
Andrew MacDougall previously served as director of communications to former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. He described one incident in which he himself became the news after a bad-tempered exchange on Twitter.
“Snarking on Twitter in the early days following a big win at the polls is one thing, making jokes when your government is on day 100 or so of an existential crisis is another,” he said.
“In these circumstances, the only answer to ‘what are you going to do’ is ‘put my head down and get to work’.”
Meanwhile, Guto Harri’s first day in the job was dismissed as “comedy” by Tory backbencher Chris Loder, who has been campaigning to remove Boris Johnson from office.
Questions were also raised in the Sun newspaper over Guto Harri’s role in lobbying for the Chinese company Huawei on behalf of lobbying firm Hawthorn, whom he worked for before joining Downing Street.
No10 has defended his appointment saying he had previously “provided advice to the clients of a private company, and that is entirely legitimate”.
They also added that full security checks had already been completed on the new Director of Communications.
However, ex-No10 aide Dominic Cummings, who has taken to calling Guto Harri ‘Huawei Harri’ on social media, has said that he should not be given full security clearance.
A No 10 spokesperson said: “In full compliance with appropriate guidance, government officials met with a number of interested parties, including Huawei, following the change in US policy.
“The Prime Minister always acts in the best interests of the UK when dealing with China which allows us to manage disagreements, defend our values and preserve space to tackle challenges including on security.”
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