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Head of the Union Unit, tasked with saving the UK, has quit

19 Feb 2021 3 minute read
Picture by Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC (OGL v1.0).

The head of the Union Unit, tasked with saving the UK has quit, it has been reported.

Oliver Lewis, who is an ally of Boris Johnson’s controversial former advisor Dominic Cummings, has quit Downing Street because he felt his position was being made “untenable” by others in No 10, according to Steven Swinford, the Political Editor of The Times.

Lewis worked with Boris Johnson on Vote Leave, his leadership campaign and helped him strike the Brexit deal with the EU. It is claimed that the UK Prime Minister called Lewis into office yesterday and “bo***cked him” over alleged leaks, which he denied.

The resignation follows that of Luke Graham, the former MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, who left after what was described as a “brutal” row.

There had been serious disagreements over how to counter growing calls for Scottish independence and it is understood that he was unhappy with his role.

It was said at the time of that resignation that Oliver Lewis, a key Tory figure, was going to be leading what one official said would be a “beefed-up union unit”.

‘Union Unit’ 

The Union Unit has been advertising for roles in the team, and according to the job specifications, an understanding of the policy issues “relevant” to Wales is not a “requirement”. It has however been described as “desirable”.

The roles for what is described as “a high-profile team at the very heart of Government” which aims to maintain “the integrity of the United Kingdom”, are available 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.”

The advertisement says that successful candidates will need “good political judgment, curiosity and independence of thought”.

At the bottom of that section, the ad says: “Desirable: have understanding of policy issues relevant to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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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