Town Hall reporter KEN LEE on how Westminster political blog Guido Fawkes is following up on Croydon news – six months after it was first published on Inside Croydon
On the morning after his boss had taken the nation to the brink of global thermo-nuclear war, Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, was busy… out delivering leaflets for Croydon Tories leader Dim Pollard.
“From Tory poster boy to Tory postman,” as one Katharine Street source remarked today.
“How the shite-y have fallen.”
Barwell, the former Croydon Central MP and author of How To Lose A Marginal Seat, may well have been subject to enquiries from his fellow Tory canvassers this morning about how they, too, might get a cushy job in Whitehall, after he had been the subject of a typically acid take-down by the Westminster politics blog Guido Fawkes.
“As May’s chief of staff, failed Croydon MP…” ouch, “… Barwell has hired three pals from his old patch to work in Downing Street,” Guido reported this week.
Such stinging insight is being offered months after the news had appeared on the pages of Inside Croydon.
We first covered the recruitment of Croydon councillor (and Barwell’s former Westminster bag-carrier) Mario Creatura, back in November.
The hirings of former Woolworths store manager Jason Cummings and “activist” Nero Ughwujabo, for similarly very well-paid Downing Street jobs, were also first reported by Inside Croydon earlier this year.
And what Guido has missed is the recruitment to the Cabinet Office of another Barwell ex-staffer, Sara “Book Token” Bashford. This, too, has all the hallmarks of Barwell helping out his old mates.
Even Private Eye magazine was running the news that Barwell had been on a recruitment drive among his chums in the Croydon Tory party as long ago as January.
It’s fair to suggest that since being gifted the £140,000 a year role in No10, Barwell has been making a far few enemies among Conservative MPs and party hacks.
That the right-wing Guido Fawkes, which supplies Murdoch’s Sun newspaper with a weekly column, is now running critical articles about gaffe-prone Gav’s egregious bit of empire-building suggests that some well-placed figures in the Tory High Command are beginning to brief against Barwell.
Under the headline “Barwell’s Croydon Cronies”, Guido writes, “When Theresa May entered No 10 she vowed to do away with Dave’s chumocracy and make sure her Downing Street wasn’t stuffed full of a load of old mates.
“Guido has previously revealed how 85 per cent of No 10 SpAds are blokes.
“Another theme has been identified on Whitehall: Gavin Barwell’s Croydon cronies. As May’s chief of staff, failed Croydon MP Barwell has hired three pals from his old patch to work in Downing Street.
“Mario Creatura, the PM’s digital SpAd, used to be Barwell’s bag-carrier in parliament and is also a Tory councillor in Croydon. Jason Cummings was a parliamentary assistant to Barwell for two years and is also a Croydon Tory councillor – now he’s a political adviser to the PM. Nero Ughwujabo, who works in the No 10 policy unit, ran the Croydon BME Forum for 15 years before also benefiting from Barwell’s patronage.
“The women problem and chumocracy live on in Downing Street, it’s just that this time the inner circle are Old Croydonians rather than Old Etonians…”
Or, more likely, Old Mid-Whitgiftians.
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