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Union Unit tasked with saving the UK not quite ‘dead in the water’ after all

26 Feb 2021 2 minute read
Picture by Sergeant Tom Robinson RLC (OGL v1.0).

No 10 Downing Street’s Union Unit, tasked with saving the union from Welsh and Scottish independence, is not quite “dead in the water”.

According to the Guido Fawkes website, the unit had closed its doors for good following the departure of heads Oliver Lewis and Luke Graham after a series of alleged rows and leaks.

Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, had also claimed that it was being “replaced” by a new committee.

However, it was reported later in The Times, that Downing Street clarified that “No 10 officials continue to work in the Union unit”, and that the new committee “builds on top of the already existing structures that we have in place”.

Boris Johnson will chair regular meetings of the “Union strategy committee”, which will include Welsh Secretary Simon Hart, Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and other Cabinet members.

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “This is a ministerial cabinet committee which the prime minister and the chancellor of exchequer will be sitting on, alongside the secretaries of state for Northern Ireland and Wales and Scotland.

‘Nothing has gone wrong’

When he was asked what had gone wrong with the Union Unit, he replied: “Nothing has gone wrong with it at all. This is not about people sitting behind the desks. This is about all of the senior advisers in No 10 and the ministers across Whitehall focusing on strengthening the UK.”

It has previously been reported that Oliver Lewis, who is an ally of Boris Johnson’s controversial former advisor Dominic Cummings, left because he felt his position was being made “untenable” by others in No 10.

He 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 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.

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