There was also no public support from Downing Street for Lord Hague’s idea of creating a so-called “inner cabinet”, which David Cameron had, to help guide Mr Johnson on major political decisions.
The chase for who was behind the quote from a “senior Downing Street source”, reported by the BBC, saying there was “concern” in Downing Street about the prime minister continued on Tuesday.
Treasury spinners have reportedly denied any involvement in the anonymous briefing after it was noted that both number 10 and number 11 – the chancellor’s residence – are on Downing Street.
There is a concern that the departure earlier this year of Sir Edward Lister, a senior adviser who has been by Boris Johnson’s side in Downing Street and before that in London’s mayor’s office, has left a gap that has not yet been adequately filled.
Dan Rosenfield, chief of staff number 10, whose background is as an official in the Treasury Department, and Simon Case, the youngest cabinet secretary ever, are two frequent targets of criticism from disgruntled Tory MPs.
A Tory said: “There are repeated calls for more political nous in number 10. The usual names are being whistled up for criticism. Rosenfield is the one people choose the most. He is not interested in Parliament or MPs.”
Another Tory MP from a “Red Wall” seat – traditionally Labor territory won by the Conservatives in the 2019 election – called for similar changes. “I think there’s a growing sense that Boris needs to stamp his authority on Downing Street again and make politics better,” the MP said.
Both Mr. Rosenfield and Mr. Case are in their 40s. Number 10 sources have previously rejected the idea that both could move, underscoring Mr Johnson’s loyalty to his inner circle.
Ben Gascoigne, the prime minister’s longtime political adviser, left this summer but has been reappointed deputy chief of staff to help implement reforms.
He is described by colleagues as a political enforcer who has been brought in to “knock on doors” in government departments to ensure decisions are implemented.