Sir Keir Starmer, has called upon Number 10 to “pull yourselves together” following signs of a bitter power struggle in cabinet
Leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer, has criticised Number 10 after Downing Street’s Director of Communications has quit amid signs of a bitter power struggle at the top of Boris Johnson’s administration.
The UK government has been told that need to “focus on the job in hand” rather than “squabbling” in Downing Street after the dramatic resignation of Boris Johnson’s spin chief.
on Wednesday night Lee Cain, the prime minister’s director of communications, announced his resignation and claimed that he had been offered the role of Boris Johnson’s chief of staff.
New guidance will say that students in the UK will be allowed to travel home for Christmas between the 3rd and 9th of December to make sure families can be reunited. Universities in England should stop all in-person teaching and will be reverting to online-only classes by early December, allowing students to return safely home for Christmas, the government has now said.
Mr Cain will now instead be leaving his senior role at the end of thus year, diminishing those Vote Leave members of the Conservative Party within Number 10, and will perhaps be offering a sign that Boris Johnson’s regime might soon be changing its direction and style.
Mr Cain’s resignation was followed by reports of infighting within Number 10 over his potential appointment as the new chief of staff, with Mr Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, as well as Conservative MPs and other Conservative government advisers said to have been against the move.
And Sir Keir – whose predecessor Jeremy Corbyn was recently suspended by Labour over a fresh antisemitism row – branded the furore in Number 10 as “pathetic”.
“I think millions of people will be waking up this morning, scratching their heads, saying what on Earth is going on?” he told LBC Radio.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, we’re all worried about our health and our families, we’re all worried about our jobs, and this lot are squabbling behind the door of Number 10.”
“It’s pathetic. Pull yourselves together, focus on the job in hand.”
Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds told Sky News: “The Conservatives need to focus on what’s going on outside their party, what’s going on in our country, and not focusing internally.”
This comes after the deputy chief medical officer for England, Professor Van Tam, has said that he will be encouraging his own mum to get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is approved, as he assured the British public that safety standards would not be compromised in the face of the public health emergency.
However, cabinet minister Robert Jenrick sought to play down the significance of Mr Cain’s departure and suggested the public would not be interested in the comings and goings of senior Downing Street staff.
He told Sky News: “I don’t think that is the public’s primary concern, what the public want to know is that the prime minister – who leads this government – is focused on the real challenges.”
“And I can reassure you he absolutely is.”
“We are focused on tackling the virus, trying to protect people’s jobs through an unprecedented period of economic disruption.”
The housing secretary added that the government was focused on:
“things that actually matter to people”.
“Of course there will be personnel changes in 10 Downing Street, but that isn’t really what matters either to the public or, I think, to the country,” he said.
“They want to know we’re moving forwards.”