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Coffee House General Election 2017 Steerpike

The curse of May? Prime Minister loses yet another spin doctor

21 April 2017

11:51 AM

21 April 2017

11:51 AM

Theresa May’s surprise call for a snap election on Tuesday led many to praise the Prime Minister for running such a tight ship — with no leaks to the press ahead of the announcement. However, is May now paying a price for having such a small inner circle?

As Charles Moore notes in this week’s Spectator, May’s inner circle is so close, in fact, that it is a triangle rather than a circle (with May’s two co-chiefs of staff and her husband Philip the only ones in the know). With only a handful of people aware of the decision in advance, it’s striking that May has lost two senior members of her press team this week following the announcement.


After Kate Perrior resigned as No 10 comms chief on Tuesday, May’s press secretary Lizzie Loudon has today followed suit and announced her departure. It’s thought that both spinners felt left out of the loop by May’s top command over plans for an early election. After all, quitting a top government job when your party is predicted a landslide victory is an unusual move.

In fairness, neither Perrior or Loudon should take personal offence. May has long had a reputation for being a challenging boss. Back in 2011, Pauline Neville-Jones quits as minister of security and counter-terrorism amid questionable circumstances. On exit, Neville-Jones made little secret of how difficult she found May to work for. — letting it be known that she thought she hadn’t been told information critical to her own brief.

If May hopes to stave off any more departures, she may wish to make sure the rest of her spinners are kept in the loop…

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