After being accused of “aggressively” agitating to make Liz Truss the Tory leader, one of Liz Truss’s most trusted allies was demoted.
It is believed that Miss Truss had been ‘furious with Bim Afolami, her private secretary to the Parliamentary Committee’ over this move.
Multiple reports claimed Mr Afolami was the Hitchin and Harpenden MP who allegedly ‘unsubtly sounded out his colleagues to evaluate Miss Truss’s chance of success in the future at the top.
Last night, he denied all claims and called them ‘completely absurd’. Although he said that it was shameful to quit the Foreign Office, he expressed excitement about being appointed as Nadine Dorries’ parliamentary private secretary.
Downing Street was offended by Mr Afolami’s article, in which he warned that the Government would soon lose the benefit of doubt.
Downing Street was offended by Mr Afolami’s article, in which he said that the Government is ‘close to losing confidence’. According to a senior Tory, the article along with his accusations of colleagues caused Afolami to be demoted.
They said that Truss was probably nervous about being too visible or having her outriders speak too loudly. It was not a sure-footed approach by Bim.
Another claimed that the Foreign secretary is furious that he’s a liability and suggested it was a big deal to have him moved from Foreign Office to Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. According to them, ‘She must personally have requested that the Chief Whip move’ him.
Whitehall sources indicated that others had been helping Miss Truss to prepare for her leadership bid. They added: “The Truss in-waiting campaign isn’t subtle at all, but it’s clear not Bim alone.
In an article for the Conservative Home website last week, Mr Afolami wrote: ‘The danger of this political moment is that the Conservative Government may be close to losing a very precious thing – the benefit of the doubt.
“I don’t know the time frame for this, but my belief is that the fall in mid-term support will not be temporary. I also believe it’s more than a sleaze problem.
He stated that many people were disappointed by the actions of the political classes during Brexit and Covid.
As a potential Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary is long considered a possibility.
He wrote, “The main complaint of the public is that they do not believe that the MPs or the Government are performing their duties effectively enough.” Dare i say, they’re right.
A source who knew about Mr Afolami’s dismissal said that the article was No.10 ‘furious.
It was suggested that Mr Afolami could ‘eventually drop’ his role as a private secretary in Parliament at a more quiet time in Westminster. This role is to be the “eyes and ears” of ministers in the Commons.
Last month, The Daily Mail reported that MPs thought Miss Truss (and Chancellor Rishi) were engaged in ‘constant maneuvers’ to secure their positions as future leaders for the Conservative Party. According to reports, Mr Afolami was one of the allies that had been “working very hard” in order to determine if Foreign Secretary might have a shot.
Mr Sunak was also accused of “unashamedly” building support by asking his assistants to organize meetings with MPs in order to listen to their concerns.
One senior Tory MP stated it was obvious that he was setting the stage for when the race to become the next leader. Two sources close to Cabinet ministers refute the allegations.