Rishi Sunak’s comms chief quits after less than a year

LONDON — Rishi Sunak’s Director of Communications Amber de Botton has quit Downing Street after less than a year in the job.

In a statement, posted on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, de Botton said it was the “right time” to move on.

She thanked colleagues, adding: “No10 is a demanding and high pressure place to work – yet the professionalism and talent they display every day is exceptional.”

Downing Street appears at pains to present the departure as amicable, and in his own statement Sunak thanked de Botton for her “hard work over the past year” paying tribute to her “calm professionalism,” which he said had been “instrumental in ensuring consistency and creativity across Whitehall communications.”

De Botton, the former head of U.K. news at the broadcaster ITV, joined Sunak in Downing Street shortly after he became prime minister last October.

Her departure comes as Sunak looks to bolster his political operation ahead of an expected tough general election campaign next year. The Conservatives are significantly trailing the opposition Labour Party in the opinion polls. Sunak conducted a mini-reshuffle on Thursday, making Grant Shapps his defense secretary, and promoting ally Claire Coutinho into his Cabinet.

Sunak has appointed Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, a former adviser to ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock, as his new No. 10 director of strategy, with Adam Atashzai, a former special adviser to David Cameron, also joining his Downing Street operation.


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