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UK’s PM appoints chief of staff after aide’s stormy exit

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves as he leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on September 9, 2020, to attend Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons. – Britain readied on Wednesday to intentionally breach its EU divorce treaty with new legislation that critics warned would undermine its global standing and any hopes for an orderly exit out of the world’s biggest single market. Johnson’s government was to submit a new bill governing the UK’s own internal market across its devolved nations, to take effect after the expiry of a transition period out of European Union membership in December. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday appointed a low-profile former Treasury official as his new chief of staff to steady the Downing Street ship after the stormy exit of his Brexiteer right-hand man.

Dan Rosenfield will formally take over the prime minister’s office on January 1, according to a Downing Street statement, potentially handing him a poisoned chalice as Britain quits a post-Brexit transition period out of the European Union.

Since 2016, Rosenfield has been global head of corporate clients for Hakluyt, a London-based strategic advisory firm that was founded by former operatives of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6.

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On its LinkedIn site, Hakluyt emphasises the collegial nature of its office environment and says: “Sharp elbows and arrogance are simply not tolerated.”

That stands in contrast to the notoriously abrasive Dominic Cummings, who masterminded the “Vote Leave” campaign in Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum.

He stormed out of his job as Johnson’s senior advisor — and effectively chief of staff — this month after a power struggle among the prime minister’s top team.

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There was speculation that Johnson would opt for a senior politician such as former finance minister Sajid Javid as chief of staff.

But instead he has favoured behind-the-scenes experience in the low-key Rosenfield, suggesting a more consensual style after Cummings.

Prior to Hakluyt, Rosenfield was a managing director at Bank of America following 11 years at Britain’s Treasury department, including four as a top aide to two finance ministers.

He is also chairman of World Jewish Relief, the leading humanitarian charity for Britain’s Jewish community.

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