Boris Johnson to revive Tony Blair’s No 10 Delivery Unit to steer ‘levelling up’ agenda

Joe Murphy
·1-min read
Tony Blair (PA)
Tony Blair (PA)

Tony Blair’s old Delivery Unit at 10 Downing Street is to be revived by Boris Johnson to keep his flagship “levelling up” agenda on track.

The Prime Minister has been meeting the unit’s founder Sir Michael Barber, who was dubbed the Delivery Tsar during the New Labour era, to get advice on how to ensure vital objectives are progressed through Whitehall.

Mr Johnson’s plan to revive the unit is revealed exclusively in tonight’s Evening Standard by award-winning new columnist Tom Newton Dunn, who writes: “So impressed is this PM by Barber, I learn that Johnson too has decided to reform the No10 Delivery Unit that was closed down by the Coalition Government in 2010.

“Staffed by 20 officials who will answer directly to Johnson, the new unit will drive his repair agendas across Government. And in that swoop, Johnson leapfrogs David Cameron to look even more Blairite than Cameron once did.”

A senior No 10 source confirmed the scoop, saying: “Even though we are fighting the pandemic we have to take steps now so that the country can build back better and push ahead with plans for job, the green agenda, opening education opportunities for all and making sure people get access to health treatments.”

In his memoirs, Mr Blair stressed the importance of progress chasing and delivery. Two years into his decade in office, he caused a row with public sector unions by saying he had “the scars on my back” from trying to pass reforms.

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