Team Boris: The strategists he’s bringing to Number 10

World News

Boris Johnson has persuaded his right-hand man from City Hall days to stay with him as chief of staff in charge of a new administration at 10 Downing Street.

Sir Edward Lister, 69, was drafted in as head of a transition team but is now expected to serve about eight months or a year as the new prime minister’s closest aide.

“He has slowly but surely had his arm twisted into it becoming full-time,” said a source on the team.

Known as Steady Eddie, Sir Edward has held team-building meetings at the Johnson campaign HQ, a small townhouse near Smith Square, and in Parliament.

Sir Edward — who is on leave as chairman of Homes England, the quango tasked with boosting house construction — made his name during 19 years as leader of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite borough, Wandsworth.

Other key personnel heading to No 10 tomorrow include:

James Wild is set to be one of three deputy chiefs of staff. He is married to Natalie Evans, the Leader of the House of Lords. Mr Wild is currently a special adviser to Theresa May’s Remain-backing deputy David Lidington.
Liam Booth-Smith, another deputy to Lister, is a think tankie who drove housing policy as a top aide to Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. He will liaise over policy.
Ben Cascoigne, the third deputy, will be the PM’s “gatekeeper”, with control over who is granted valuable time in Johnson’s crowded diary.
Lee Cain is expected to be director of communications, the former journalist served on the Vote Leave campaign and was Mr Johnson’s special adviser at the Foreign Office.
Nikki da Costa will be director of parliamentary affairs, a critical role given the lack of a Tory majority. She did the same job for Theresa May before resigning last autumn.
Rob Oxley, a Vote Leave veteran, is expected to be press secretary, the political spokesman of the PM.
Oxley’s deputy will be Lucia Hodgson, a former special adviser to Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom. The teaming of the pair suggests plans for a Brexit-themed general election.