Number 10 sacks special adviser who called Dominic Cummings ‘unkind’

Andrew Woodcock
Dominic Cummings recommended everyone read Philip Tetlock's book Superforecasting earlier this week: Getty

A government special adviser who confronted Dominic Cummings over his “unkindness” towards ministerial aides has been removed from her post.

Lynn Davidson is leaving her job as media adviser to defence secretary Ben Wallace in the latest shake-up of the government’s roster of “spads”.

Her departure comes just a fortnight after reports that she confronted Boris Johnson’s senior aide Cummings at a meeting of aides over his treatment of her colleagues.

A government source said that Downing Street had decided to move Ms Davidson away from the defence brief and she was offered jobs in the health and education department but did not accept either.

The source said that conversations over the move took place before the meeting with Mr Cummings.

Ms Davidson’s clash with Mr Cummings came after last month’s reshuffle which saw several of Westminster’s special advisers lose their jobs as their ministerial bosses were dumped the cabinet.

Aides were said to have been angered by his comments ahead of the cabinet shake-up that he would “see some of you next week”.

Former Sun journalist Davidson was said to have told Mr Cummings that he was “out of order” and should show more consideration to young staff doing their best in difficult circumstances.

The government is currently facing an employment tribunal case brought by former Treasury special adviser Sonia Khan, who was marched out of Downing Street by an armed police office last August after being dismissed by Mr Cummings.

And former chancellor Sajid Javid’s resignation was sparked by Mr Johnson ordering him to give up his team of special advisers and instead rely on a joint unit run by No 10.

Special advisers have traditionally been chosen by individual ministers, subject to the prime minister’s approval, and are a key means for them to develop policy and get their message across through the media.

The career of a “spad” is a perilous one, as their fortunes rise and fall along with their ministers, and they frequently lose their jobs when their political masters are sacked.

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