LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine): Boris Johnson’s four top advisers departed from Downing Street within hours of one other, putting the prime minister under increasing strain.
Munira Mirza resigned in protest of Prime Minister Theresa May’s “scurrilous” attack on Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader.
Martin Reynolds, who gave out the “bring your own booze” invites, was one of three employees involved in the lockdown parties controversy to resign.
It comes while the PM’s leadership is being questioned by his own party.
Shortly after Ms Mirza left, Jack Doyle, Director of Communications announced his departure.
Mr Doyle told his coworkers that recent weeks had taken a horrible toll on his family life, but that he always had an intention of leaving after 2 years.
Dan Rosenfield, the prime minister’s chief of staff, had presented his resignation to the PM earlier on Thursday, but would continue on until a replacement was found, according to a statement from No 10.
Mr Reynolds, principal private secretary of the PM, will walk the same path, but will return to the Foreign Office after that.
Following a stinging investigation by civil servant Sue Gray exposing rule-breaking parties in No 10 during the epidemic, a number of MPs who are supportive of the PM have been tweeting compliments, implying that Mr Johnson was responsible for making essential staff changes.
Greg Hands, the Minister for Energy, told BBC Breakfast. Mr Johnson “made it obvious there will be a shake-up” at Downing Street, prompting the resignations.
Huw Merriman, a Conservative backbencher, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that many MPs were loyal to the Prime Minister and focused on the positives.However, he expressed his “great concern” about the situation, agreeing that the PM needed to “shape up or ship out.”
Ms Mirza resigned in protest over the Prime Minister’s incorrect claim that Sir Keir failed to pursue Jimmy Savile at the time when he was director of public prosecutions, as well as his reluctance to apologise.
“Being honest, I wouldn’t have said it,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated, officially distancing himself from the PM’s original remark.
When questioned if Mr Johnson must apologise, he replied that it was the prime minister’s decision to make.
Given the fact that the PMs key advisers and aides were resigning, maybe it was time for him to finally look in the mirror and contemplate if it was actually he who was the problem, said Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader.