By: Tim Ross of Bloomberg
Theresa May’s director of strategy has become the latest member of her senior team to quit, leaving the premier without the authors of her Brexit vision at a critical time in negotiations with the European Union.
Chris Wilkins will leave his post inside May’s office in 10 Downing Street at the end of this week, he said by telephone on Wednesday. Since the election, May’s been hit by a string of resignations in policy, strategy and communications. As well as leaving the prime minister short of advisers that she knows and trusts at a vital moment, the departures suggest that staff see little future in the job.
“It’s not quite rats deserting a sinking ship, but it does indicate that people feel things can’t go on as they have been going,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London. “There needs to be some kind of reinvigoration, but this does indicate that some people feel that can’t be done.”
The departure means that May has lost both her top strategists in the wake of last month’s general election. Nick Timothy, her co-chief of staff, quit the day after May’s Conservatives were stripped of their parliamentary majority in the poll. He and Wilkins wrote the Brexit speech in January in which she set out her plan to take the U.K. out of the single market and customs union.