Sir Keir Starmer has appointed Sue Gray, who led the investigation into lockdown parties in Downing Street, to serve as his chief of staff. The senior civil servant became a household name during the partygate scandal when she authored a report which found “a failure of leadership and judgement” in Number 10 during Boris Johnson’s premiership.
Ms Gray had been second permanent secretary in the Cabinet Office.
It is unclear when Ms Gray will take up the role because her appointment will need to be checked by the watchdog Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA), which oversees new jobs for former ministers and senior civil servants.
She has long had a fearsome reputation in Whitehall, having served as the key enforcer of ministerial behaviour as Head of Propriety and Ethics in the Cabinet Office between 2012 and 2018.
The possibility she could join the Labour leader’s office was first reported by Sky News yesterday (March 1).
Ms Gray’s new job comes after Sam White was dismissed as Sir Keir’s chief of staff. He was reportedly unpopular with some members of the Shadow Cabinet.
A the daughter of Irish immigrants, Ms Gray’s son, Liam Conlon, chairs Labour’s Irish Society.
The group used to be led by Matthew Doyle, Labour’s communications director.
More to follow…
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