Rishi Sunak hires ITV’s Amber de Botton as communications chiefon October 29, 2022 at 4:46 pm

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The appointment comes as the new prime minister and his family move back into No 10 Downing Street.

Rishi SunakImage source, PA Media

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has chosen ITV News journalist Amber de Botton as his new director of communications.

She will leave the broadcaster, where she is head of UK news, to run Downing Street’s media operation.

Downing Street confirmed the hire after ITV’s political editor Robert Peston revealed his colleague would be joining the prime minister’s team.

It comes as removal vans were spotted in Downing Street on Saturday as Mr Sunak and his family moved into No 10.

The prime minister, along with his wife and two daughters, previously lived in the flat above No 10 when he was chancellor under Boris Johnson.

Ms De Botton was previously head of politics at ITV and deputy head of politics at Sky news, after starting her career as a parliamentary reporter.

She will be a special advisor, responsible for selling the merits of the government.

Mr Peston tweeted that she is “a brilliant news editor and journalist” “leaves a huge hole at ITV News”.

The new prime minister has previously poached journalists from ITV. In 2020, the then-chancellor appointed the broadcaster’s national editor Allegra Stratton as his director of strategic communications, before she was picked by Mr Johnson to lead No 10’s daily televised press briefings.

Ms Stratton later resigned after an ITV video showed her days after Downing Street staff held a party during the pandemic, laughing over how to describe it.

Downing Street

Image source, PA Media

Moving vans outside No 10

Image source, PA Media

Six months after leaving Downing Street when he resigned as chancellor in Mr Johnson’s government, Mr Sunak and his family are returning to the flat above No 10.

Earlier this week his press secretary was asked why the prime minister was moving into No 10 and not the bigger No 11 apartment, officially designated for the chancellor but used by many prime minsters in recent years. She replied: “They were very happy there.”

She added she was not aware of any plans to redecorate the flat.

Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie were reported to have spent as much as £200,000 on a designer upgrade of the No 11 apartment when they lived there.

Downing Street

Image source, PA Media

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