Boris Johnson’s new chief of staff heads charity which criticised cut to foreign aid

Andrew Woodcock
·2 min read
10 Downing Street (Getty Images)
10 Downing Street (Getty Images)

Boris Johnson’s new chief of staff at 10 Downing Street is a former banker and Treasury official who heads a charity which has criticised the government’s cuts to foreign aid.

Dan Rosenfield’s appointment to the high-power position today marks a further step in the repositioning of Downing Street following the departure of the prime minister’s former adviser Dominic Cummings from No 10.

It was Mr Johnson’s attempt to appoint Cummings ally Lee Cain to the same job which sparked the furious Downing Street internal war which culminated in the Vote Leave supremo’s resignation on 13 November.

Mr Rosenfield, who served for a decade at the Treasury, could not be further in still from the iconoclastic clique around Cummings, who derided the civil servants and advertised for “weirdos and misfits” from outside the Westminster bubble to take jobs at No 10.

Notably, his appointment triggered accolades from key Conservative figures from the pre-Johnson era.

Former Treasury minister David Gauke hailed him as “smart, likeable and effective”, adding: “This should be a good appointment.”

And Rupert Harrison, a close aide to George Osborne as chancellor, said: “Dan is a class act and an inspired appointment… Bright, tough and politically savvy with a small ‘p’.”


Damian McBride, the former special adviser to Labour chancellor Gordon Brown, worked alongside Rosenfield at the Treasury and described him as having “ a first-class brain and an easy smile”, adding: “He'll do well in No10.”

Mancunian Mr Rosenfield joined the Treasury in 2000 after university in London and rose to become principal private secretary to chancellors Alistair Darling and Mr Osborne from 2007 to 2011.

He later became managing director of investment banking at Bank of America, and then head of UK business at strategic advisory firm Hakluyt.

He is also chairman of the humanitarian agency World Jewish Relief, which on Wednesday said it was “deeply disheartened” at chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to cut UK overseas aid from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of national income.

At the Treasury, he was responsible for putting together the budget for the 2012 London Olympics.

He was later a close aide to Mr Darling as the Labour chancellor bailed out the banks during the global financial crisis of 2007-08, before managing the transition to Mr Osborne’s austerity-led regime.

Johnson aide Lord Udny-Lister will continue as acting chief of staff until Mr Rosenfield formally takes up his appointment on 1 January.

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