Sajid Javid gets told off by ‘frustrated’ Number 10 communications chief
Robbie Gibb is also annoyed with Amber Rudd and Liz Truss.
According to the Evening Standard’s ‘The Londoner’ diary, Theresa May’s communications director has been speaking to people about his future career because he believes that “things won’t last for much longer”.
Or could it be because he is fed up with the actions of rogue cabinet ministers who are more interested in jockeying for position than getting behind his boss?
An email to special advisers by Robbie Gibb, leaked to the Daily Mail, accuses ministers of trying to upstage May’s £20billion annual NHS boost unveiled last weekend by announcing their own initiatives at the same time.
He wrote: "We deliberately starved out the Downing St weekend (media) grid to give the launch of PM’s NHS plan the best coverage. But because of briefings and articles by ministers in Sunday papers, attention was diverted elsewhere.
"To add to our frustration, No 10 had no warning of two ministerial op-eds and there was a briefing on a policy change we did not approve. I’d like to say it was out of the ordinary, but it isn’t."
While the email does not refer to any ministers by name, it is thought that Gibb is referring to the behaviour of Sajid Javid Amber Rudd, Sajid Javid and Liz Truss - all of whom are tipped as wannabe successors to May.
The Observer ran a story on Rudd further delaying the rollout of Universal Credit, while Truss wrote an article for a Sunday newspaper vowing to scrap "white elephant" government projects.
Javid’s allies reportedly briefed another paper on tighter rules on asylum claims. Meanwhile the Mail reports that he was due to write a bylined article setting out his policy until No 10 vetoed it.
How much longer will Gibb put up with such insolent behaviour from ministers of the crown? Earlier this week, the Number 10 comms chief denied that he was plotting an escape route, telling The Londoner “You heard wrong.”