It would appear that no matter how hard Gavin Barwell and his Croydon cronies try to polish up their CVs after their disastrous couple of years at the heart of one of the most incompetent governments in this country’s long history, working for a Prime Minister widely regarded as the worst ever to occupy Downing Street, they ain’t going to have much chance of being kept on in their jobs once a new Tory Party leader is chosen.
Today is Theresa Mayhem’s final official day in her job (she’s volunteered to hold the fort until her party manages to select a replacement, bless ‘er).
Judging by some of the adverse comments about her staff in No10 from candidates for the Tory leadership, it is likely to be one of the last days on the public payroll, too, for Barwell, her £150,000 per year chief of staff, and his Croydon Conservative mates such as Mario Creatura and Jason Cummings.
Creatura and Cummings are both senior Croydon Conservative councillors. They, together with Nero Ughwujabo, the former CEO of the Croydon BME Forum, were handed £80,000-a-year jobs as SPADs – special advisers – soon after May hired Barwell following the 2017 General Election.
Creatura, Cummings and former councillor Sara Bashford, who somehow managed to land a job in the Cabinet Office, had all previously worked for Barwell when he was MP for Croydon Central.
Once Barwell moved into Downing Street, Cummings, the former Woolworths branch manager who has risen without trace to become the deputy leader of the Tory opposition group at Croydon Town Hall, was placed in the No10 policy unit.
Meanwhile, Creatura was handed the password to the PM’s and Downing Street’s Twitter accounts.
Neither appears to be as highly regarded by Tory leadership contenders as they are by the former MP for Croydon Central.
On Wednesday, Michael Gove, the 6/1 second favourite to win the leadership contest, publicly dissed Barwell and his Downing Street SPADs. Addressing an audience of Tory MPs, Gove said, “How many in this room have engaged with No10 policy unit?”
And the evening before, Rory Stewart broke off from videoing himself in Kew Gardens by announcing to Conservative backbenchers that if selected as their leader, he would “unleash the talent on the backbenches, rather than having lunatic SPADs in No10 telling you what to do”.
Whoever could he have in mind?
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