Former Covid taskforce head ‘sorry’ for holding Cabinet Office leaving party


While putting names to the plan is a matter of hot debate, a more broadly accepted idea is that at least one senior political appointee and a senior official must be seen to leave Downing Street over the affair, as both groups share blame, two Whitehall sources said.

A former Tory cabinet minister told the Independent that, although they backed Mr Johnson, they believed a “root and branch” overhaul of No 10 and parts of the Cabinet Office would prove essential to move on from partygate. It would be a “bare minimum to translate contrition into action”, they said.

The “save big dog” plan includes a communications “grid” in the lead up to the investigation’s conclusion and beyond. This comprises lines for supportive ministers to take in press interviews, emphasising a contrite prime minister and listing his achievements amid the difficult choices posed by the pandemic.



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