Thursday, 13 Jun 2024

Rishi Sunak’s chief election advisor recruits Labour spinners to his PR firm

Rishi Sunak faces backlash over step back from Net Zero promises

The Prime Minister’s chief election strategist Isaac Levido has recruited another Labour figure to his PR firm Fleetwood Strategy.

The revelation has raised new questions about how confident senior figures around Rishi Sunak are in his ability to win the next general election.

It comes after Techne UK’s weekly tracker poll had the Tories still 19 points behind despite Mr Sunak attempting to go on the front foot by cancelling a number of Net Zero policies which threatened to hit voters in the pocket.

According to Electoral Calculus, the poll would give Labour a majority of 226 and leave the Conservatives on a historically bad 132 seats.

Following an announcement on Friday, Mr Levido appears to be preparing for a Labour government, according to his critics.

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His PR firm Fleetwood Strategy announced that it has recruited former Labour councillor Philip Rosenberg as a senior director.

This followed the appointment of another senior Labour figure Melantha Chittenden before the summer.

Mr Levido and Fleetwood Strategy was employed by Boris Johnson but sacked by Liz Truss as the election strategist.

A former cabinet minister who worked for Liz Truss said that the signing of Labour executives to his firm has “vindicated her decision”.

However, he was reemployed by Mr Sunak and has been criticised by Conservative MPs over a number of tactical issues including the five pledges the Prime Minister made at the start of the year.

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It has also emerged that Mr Levido has separated his political work and put it into another company he owns called Sancrox.

However, while Fleetwood’s website lists employees no such details are available on the Sancrox website.

A company spokesman said that Mr Levido works for both and Sancrox has “non-Fleetwood employees”.

But a former senior official at the Conservative Party commented: “It beggars belief that No10 is content relying for its advice on a company that is investing so heavily in Labour staff whilst telling the Prime Minister they can guide him.

“Despite not saying so anywhere on their websites.

“Both companies have the same ownership – to claim they aren’t connected is laughable. What is more the Director of the new business is the Director or the other.”

A Conservative spokesman insisted the party was fine with the new arrangements.

He said: “We were aware of the split [in responsibilities between Fleetwood and Sancrox] and have no issues with it.

“Fleetwood HR policy is for them and none of our concern.”

There had been some speculation though that Mr Levido may be taking a step back with the recent recruitment of Jamie Njoku-Goodwin as head of strategy in Downing Street.

A Fleetwood Strategy spokesman said: “Fleetwood Strategy works for some of the most innovative companies across the globe. We’re proud of the fact that we hire the brightest and best people from a range of backgrounds.”

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