Boris Johnson’s new Chief of Staff Steve Barclay’s links to Cambridgeshire

Boris Johnson’s

Boris Johnson has appointed a new Chief of Staff who is the former Brexit secretary and a trained lawyer.

What some might not know about Steve Barclay is his multiple links to Cambridgeshire that date back many years.

Barclay, the youngest of three brothers, read history at Cambridge University as the first generation of his family to go to university.

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Later in life he was picked for David Cameron’s “A-list” of favoured candidates.

It was at this time where he won the seat of North East Cambridgeshire in the 2010 general election having twice stood unsuccessfully for parliament.

The Prime Minister said Mr Barclay will be “in charge of integrating the new Office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office, driving the Government’s agenda more efficiently and ensuring it is better aligned with the Cabinet and backbenchers”.

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Mr Barclay is seen as a safe pair of hands, but is also an ally of Chancellor Rishi Sunak so his appointment might act to thaw reported tensions between the PM and his next-door neighbour.

After a relatively slow start to his ministerial career, Mr Barclay – a Leave supporter – was catapulted to the Cabinet front rank as Brexit Secretary in November 2018.

The son of a trade union official father and a civil servant mother, he has previously described himself as coming from a “working class Northern background” in Lancashire.

During the EU referendum in 2016, he supported the official Vote Leave campaign, after ministers were given the freedom to campaign for either side.

Following the 2017 election, he was finally promoted out of the whips office by then-prime minister Theresa May who made him her new City minister.

His financial background made him an obvious choice at a time when foreign competitors were looking to take advantage of Brexit to take away business from the Square Mile.

Nevertheless, he served only six months in the Treasury before he was promoted again to minister of state at the Department of Health and Social Care.

After his first Cabinet role as Brexit Secretary, he moved to become chief secretary to the Treasury in February 2020, and was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in September 2021.

Mr Barclay is married with two children.

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