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PM promises improvements at No 10 with new faces in senior roles

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The Prime Minister said Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay will become Mr Johnson’s chief of staff, while journalist Guto Harri will become director of communications.

It comes after Mr Johnson lost five of his Downing Street aides in the space of 24 hours on Thursday and Friday, as more MPs sent letters in calling for a vote of no confidence in their leader.

The most painful departure was that of Munira Mirza who had worked for Mr Johnson for more than a decade.

10 Downing Street, London (Yui Mok/PA) / PA Wire

The policy chief quit on Thursday with a damning letter criticising Mr Johnson for his use of a “scurrilous” smear against Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer over the failure to prosecute Jimmy Savile.

Resignations followed from director of communications Jack Doyle, chief of staff Dan Rosenfield, principal private secretary Martin Reynolds, and special adviser in the policy unit Elena Narozanski.

The Sunday Times also reported on Saturday that special adviser Henry Newman, a friend of the PM’s wife Carrie, would leave No 10 and would likely return to work with his old boss Michael Gove.

Mr Newman may be embroiled in the partygate scandal, after reports suggested he had allegedly attended a party in the flat shared by Mr and Mrs Johnson during Covid measures.

No 10 said Mr Barclay’s role, which he will combine with his job in the Cabinet Office, would include being “in charge of integrating the new Office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office, driving the Government’s agenda more efficiently and ensuring it is better aligned with the Cabinet and backbenchers”.

But deputy leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner, who also shadows Mr Barclay, said: “The Prime Minister has clearly run out of serious people willing to serve under his chaotic and incompetent leadership so now expects a Cabinet minister to be his chief of staff.

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