New No 10 PR chief Guto Harri hits back at Dominic Cummings criticism
The new No 10 PR chief Guto Harri has hit back at criticism from Dominic Cummings.
The Welsh broadcaster had been attacked by Cummings following his appointment as Boris Johnson’s Director of Communications.
Cummings tweeted: “Message from No 10: “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’.” The message ended with a clown emoji and the hashtag #regimechange.
The Welsh speaking former BBC journalist fired back at Cummings with an article he wrote for GQ magazine in February 2020.
In the column for the monthly men’s magazine he correctly predicted that Cummings would be out of a job within months, and described him as described Cummings as “gratuitously offensive” and “abusive” to junior staff.
Harri wrote: “Ask yourselves: would you work for him? Would you hire him? Would his behaviour be tolerated in your school, hospital, regiment, college, company or club? And if not, how long can he really last in such a pivotal role, more demanding than most, more scrutinised than almost any. The next movie is still being written, but we all know how it ends.”
In another article for GQ, which was published in May 2021, and written shortly after Cummings appeared before a select committee, he wrote: “Many of us suspected Dominic Cummings was arrogant, paranoid, power-hungry and shambolic.
“We thought he was petty and vindictive, with contempt for entire departments, organisations and professions. Some of us suspected he quietly loathed Boris Johnson — and now we know that too.
“Cummings was a one-trick pony, an ideologue who spent decades focusing myopically on how to get the UK out of the EU, but was ill equipped for the moving targets and multi-tasking of government — not to mention the tact, nuance and unavoidable compromise.”
Harri, who was born in Cardiff, studied at Queen’s College, Oxford, before taking postgraduate course in journalism at Cardiff University.
He spent 18 years working as a journalist for the BBC, becoming chief political correspondent in November 2002, and presented the channel’s weekly interview programme, One To One.
Following a brief stint in Rome, between July 2004 to January 2005, he became North America business correspondent, and based in New York until June 2007.
Between 2008 to 2012, he was director of external affairs for Boris Johnson during his tenure as Mayor of London.
He was became director of communications for Rupert Murdoch’s News UK in 2012 following the fallout from the phone-hacking scandal.
In 2018, he returned to broadcasting to present the Welsh language politics show on S4C, Y Byd yn ei Le.
Last year he spent a brief period on the right wing television channel GB News. He left following a blazing row over him taking the knee on air during a debate about racism directed at England football players.
In a tweet confirming his appointment as the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications, Harri wrote:
Having taken advice from a distinguished predecessor, I’m delighted to confirm that I have accepted the role of Director of Comms for @BorisJohnson. Joining a formidable team to focus on the things that matter and deliver what he promised to the people pic.twitter.com/6zro9G6nj1
— Guto Harri (@Guto_Harri) February 6, 2022
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