Jason Stein: Who is Liz Truss’s advisor – why was he fired?
Downing Street has ordered aides to stop giving “unacceptable” briefings to the press about Tory MPs after Jason Stein, chief adviser to Liz Truss, was suspended.
Senior adviser Liz Truss was suspended as Downing Street ordered aides to stop “unacceptable” briefings against Tory MPs.
An investigation of communications consultant Jason Stein was initiated by the Cabinet Office’s fitness and ethics team. It follows news over the weekend that a Downing Street source described former adviser and health minister Sajid Javid as a “***”.
Who is Jason Stein?
Stein has worked closely with Truss since she became Prime Minister, as well as in her role as Treasury Secretary. The confidant Truss advisor was also credited with being a staple of her leadership campaign and spearheading her communications strategy when she went up against Rishi Sunak in the race.
Before that he was a fixture at Westminster. He worked with former Special Counsel Amber Rudd, former Secretary of Work and Pensions. Stein left the role when Rudd resigned over a clash with Boris Johnson over major politics.
Stein moved on to work in corporate public relations. His most prominent role was managing Prince Andrew’s public relations. He resigned the role after advising Prince not to follow through with Emily’s infamous Newsnight interview, in which Prince acts against his wishes.
Why is he being investigated?
Over the weekend, the Sunday Times reported that a senior Downing Street source described former chancellor Sajid Javid as a “***” while describing candidates being considered for the then-vacant chancellor role after Quarting’s sacking. The quote that was widely echoed said: “The Prime Minister laughed out loud at the proposal. She’s sat in Cabinet with Javid for 10 years and she knows who’s good and who’s ***.”
It was said that Javid would be considered alongside Hunt’s final appointment, but the source said the MP was not actually being considered to replace Kwarteng. 10 declined to say whether Stein was suspended for this specific briefing.
But the Prime Minister’s press secretary did not deny Mr. Stein’s comment, saying: “I will not go into individual personnel matters. But the Prime Minister has made it clear to her team that some of the briefings we have seen are totally unacceptable about Parliamentary colleagues and they should stop.”
“That’s not what I understand,” Truss’ press secretary added when asked if Stein had voluntarily left his role.
Javid was prepared to ask Truss a question during today’s PMQs session, with speculation he could refer directly to the briefing. However, this was canceled at the last minute, as it was announced before the PMQs that Stein was suspended.