On Friday 4, Elena Narozanski became the fifth aide to resign from Downing Street following resignations from Johnson’s chief secretary Martin Reynolds.
Among those resigning included, chief of staff Dan Rosenfield, communications chief Jack Doyle, and head of policy Munira Mirza.
Some of these resignations come as no surprise. It was Reynolds who sent the now infamous email in May 2020 inviting around 100 staff to a drinks party, and both Doyle and Rosenfield have been involved in speculation about attendance at such parties.
These resignations seem to be one of the many consequences of being personally tied to any of the eighteen events which Sue Gray and the Met police are investigating. It is of little surprise that Johnson, has allowed these government figures to withdraw from the day-to-day operations of Downing Street.
The resignations of Narozanski and Mirza prompt more discussion though. Mirza has directly attributed her resignation to the false claims made by the PM regarding Keir Starmer’s failure to prosecute sex offender Jimmy Saville.
Her resignation letter, published by The Spectator, accused Johnson of making “scurrilous” claims. Encouraging the PM to apologise, she wrote, “It is not too late for you but, I’m sorry to say, it is too late for me.”
Having worked with Johnson for 14 years, sticking by him through numerous scandals and various factional fights within Downing Street, her insistence on resignation being due solely to the PM’s claim about Starmer does not ring true.
What it signifies is another small step indicating the possible breakdown of Johnson’s authority and leadership, one that his former chief aide Dominic Cummings concurs with, who responded to the news of Mirza’s resignation as “an unmistakeable signal the bunker is collapsing and this PM is finished.”
Whilst Johnson awaits the full reports from both Sue Gray and the Met Police, these resignations, regardless of their political significance, are only a small part of a political saga that has no clear ending in sight, nor a clear conclusion.