Gavin Barwell served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May from June 2017 to July 2019 during one of the most turbulent periods in British political history. As the Prime Minister’s senior political adviser, he was intimately involved in the conduct of the Brexit negotiations; the development of key domestic policies such as the long-term plan for our NHS and the commitment to net zero carbon emissions; and in formulating the UK response to international incidents such as the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.
Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, he was the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central from May 2010 until June 2017 and a Government Minister from October 2013 (initially a Government Whip and then Minister of State for Housing & Planning and Minister for London).
Prior to his election to Parliament, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the Conservative Party and served as a local councillor in his home town of Croydon. In October 2019, he was appointed to the House of Lords.
Taken together, these roles have given him an unparalleled insight into British politics from grassroots campaigning in a marginal seat through party headquarters, local government, Parliament, Ministerial office to 10 Downing Street.
He now runs his own business providing advice to clients including PwC, Barratt, Arcadis and Avonhurst on public policy and geopolitical trends. He is also a non-executive director of Clarion Housing Group, the largest housing association in the country, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Work Foundation.
Based on reams of detailed contemporaneous notes, Chief of Staff is an invaluable and gripping insider record of the most turbulent period in Britain’s recent political history by Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s former Chief of Staff. He was by her side when she negotiated her Brexit deal, met Donald Trump, heard about the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury, made the decision to authorise the use of military force in Syria, met Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer to broker a cross-party Brexit agreement – and ultimately made the decision to stand down as Prime Minister. And at a time of intense interest in the current prime minister’s former chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, and the person who the prime minister will now appoint as Chief of Staff, this book will also provide a unique insight into this powerful role.
Chief of Staff will be published by Atlantic Books in September 2021.