Downing Street Chief of Staff

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Employment.png Downing Street Chief of Staff 

Start2 May 1997
DeputyDeputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister
"The most powerful unelected official in the country", possibly "the third most powerful altogether" after the UK Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.Boss of the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.

The Downing Street chief of staff is the most senior political appointee in the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, acting as a senior aide to the prime minister, a powerful, non-ministerial position within Her Majesty's Government.

The role of chief of staff initially had executive authority, and at the time of its creation, was referred to as "almost certainly the most powerful unelected official in the country", and possibly "the third most powerful altogether" after the prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer.[1]


The first official chief of staff in 10 Downing Street was David Wolfson, under Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1985.[2] The position of Downing Street Chief of Staff was recreated by Tony Blair upon his becoming prime minister in 1997 and Jonathan Powell held the post for ten years.

In 1997 Tony Blair gave his chief of staff, a special advisor, 'unprecedented powers' to issue orders to civil servants.[3] Previously the Cabinet secretary had been the most senior non-ministerial figure in the British Government, and along with the principal private secretary to the prime minister had supported the prime minister in the running of 10 Downing Street. Following the creation of the role, the chief of staff supplanted the principal private secretary in running Downing Street operations and effectively replaced the power of the Cabinet secretary in terms of co-ordinating government policy.

Although the Cabinet secretary continued to be a highly important role, through remaining responsible for making sure that the civil service was organised effectively and was capable of delivering the Government's objectives,[4] the chief of staff replaced the Cabinet Secretary as the "right-hand man" for the prime minister.[5] "Powell had been at the epicentre of power. As Tony Blair's chief of staff, he was the ultimate fixer, the prime minister's first line of defence against events, baby-catcher in chief. When things went wrong, people called Powell."[6]


Office Holders on Wikispooks

Stephen Barclay5 February 20225 July 2022
Dan Rosenfield1 January 20215 February 2022
Edward Llewellyn11 May 201013 July 2016
Jeremy Heywood10 October 200811 May 2010
Stephen Carter23 January 200810 October 2008
Tom Scholar27 June 200723 January 2008
Jonathan Powell2 May 199727 June 2007


Wikipedia.png This page imported content from Wikipedia on 22.09.2021.
Wikipedia is not affiliated with Wikispooks.   Original page source here