Politics

Election guru Lynton Crosby attending PM’s morning conferences | Lynton Crosby


Lynton Crosby, the election guru and businessman, has been attending Boris Johnson’s 8.30am conferences in No 10, displaying he’s extra concerned within the prime minister’s choice making than beforehand thought.

The Australian political strategist, whose advisory agency has represented tobacco in addition to oil and fuel pursuits, is thought to have been serving to Johnson remotely over his management woes however his involvement within the common conferences exhibits he seems to have taken a a lot larger position than earlier than.

Crosby runs CT Group – a authorities affairs, polling and analysis firm – in addition to advising political leaders on their electoral technique. His return to advising Johnson has coincided with a shift to the appropriate because the prime minister tries to bolster his standing with that wing of the get together and those that elected him 2019.

A No 10 supply confirmed that Crosby had attended some morning conferences, however insisted these had been get together political somewhat than official authorities ones.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “Lynton Crosby is not a government employee. Any assistance to the prime minister would be party political and in his capacity as leader of the Conservative party.”

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One supply with information of Crosby mentioned the election strategist, who largely lives in Australia, had been largely dialling into conferences.

A second supply mentioned he additionally generally attended in-person, getting into No 10 through a extra discreet entrance within the Cabinet Office. They claimed that officers had raised considerations about his attendance.

Labour’s Fleur Anderson, the shadow paymaster normal, mentioned the revelations had been “deeply alarming and raise questions about whether Crosby has inappropriate access to high-level government decision making”.

She added: “Given his business interests in sectors such as oil and gas, the potential conflicts of interest are seriously concerning, especially if they have not been declared.

“This stinks of yet more Tory cronyism at the highest levels. The public deserve proper transparency and the PM must come clean on the role that Crosby plays in his government.”

A CT Group spokesperson mentioned it was “engaged to provide strategic advice to the Conservative party and its leader” and that Crosby, as its chief govt, “provides that advice from time to time”.

They added that “the company complies fully with requirements under the Lobbying Act regarding the disclosure of clients”.

Crosby was handed a knighthood after he helped the Conservatives safe a majority within the 2015 normal election, when the get together was led by David Cameron.

During Johnson’s rocky interval with Conservative MPs when the Partygate scandal first broke, he proudly advised them he was enlisting Crosby’s providers once more as a way of attempting to regain the get together’s lead within the polls.

The pair had been mentioned to have already got been working collectively previous to February, although relations between them had cooled after the final election in late 2019.

Crosby had helped with Johnson’s Tory management marketing campaign, which resulted in him turning into prime minister in July 2019 after Theresa May stepped down. The cooling of relations was partly fuelled by tensions over the position of the prime minister’s now-wife, Carrie Johnson however he has come again into the prime minister’s sphere of affect within the final yr.

The Guardian may also reveal that David Canzini, Johnson’s deputy chief of workers and a former worker of CT Group, final week ordered an pressing assessment of labor performed by polling firms throughout authorities departments.

The Cabinet Office wrote to senior Whitehall leaders final week asking them to audit the work performed by 10 polling companies at Canzini’s request, together with YouGov, Ipsos Mori, Kantar, Savanta and TNS.

They got 5 days to reply to the pressing request, with an edict to incorporate all work, not simply as regards to communications.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “This is part of our routine and ongoing work looking at how public funds are spent to ensure maximum value for money.”



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