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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Tory MPs want Downing Street to bring in ‘big beast’ to boost political operation

The MP said: “There’s another piece here about why they left it to the 11th hour to start rallying people. It fits into the pattern of poor handling [of MPs] and an inept Number 10 operation.”

Tories could push for a “big shake-up in No 10” and for Mr Johnson to “bring in more competent people, rebuild bridges with the parliamentary party”, the MP added.

A third Tory MP, from a “Red Wall” seat – traditional Labour territory won by the Conservatives in the 2019 election – called for similar changes. “I think there’s a growing feeling Boris needs to re-stamp his authority on Downing Street and do politics better,” the MP said.

Both Mr Rosenfield and Mr Case are in their 40s. Number 10 sources have previously rejected the idea that either could move, stressing Mr Johnson’s loyalty to his inner circle.

Ben Gascoigne, the Prime Minister’s long-term political adviser, left in the summer but has been drafted back in as deputy chief of staff to help drive through reforms. He is described by colleagues as a political enforcer who has been brought in to “knock on doors” in government departments to make sure decisions are being implemented.

On Monday, one adviser to a Cabinet minister described Mr Johnson’s unhappiness after weeks which have seen rows over Tory sleaze, the watering down of HS2 plans and tensions over social care reform changes.

“There is just a lot of stress. The PM’s obviously very, very unhappy,” the source told The Telegraph. “No PM wants to be in a rough patch. It is not out of the ordinary. I would imagine he’s not enjoying it.”

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