Rishi Sunak has hired Amber de Botton as his communications director, Downing Street confirmed on Saturday, the latest in a series of appointments made by the Prime Minister in his first week in office.
De Botton’s career as a journalist has included work for ITV News and Sky News. She is leaving ITV News, where she was head of UK news and previously politics.
Unlike an impartial civil servant, the special adviser can advise ministers on policy, defend government actions and criticize opposition parties.
ITV Political Editor Robert Peston tweeted: “My colleague Amber de Botton is leaving ITV to become Rishi Sunak’s Director of Communications. She is a brilliant news editor and journalist and leaves a huge void at ITV News.”
Sky News political editor Beth Rigby wrote: “She is an extremely talented news editor and political operator who is now on her way to No. 10 to lead PM’s communications strategy. You mean business.”
The appointment is the last of Sunak, who became prime minister on Monday following a leadership vote.
Sunak has restored Suella Braverman, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove to his cabinet while leaving Jeremy Hunt as chancellor.
James Cleverly was reappointed as Foreign Secretary and Braverman was reappointed as Home Secretary less than a week after she resigned for violating the Code of Ministers by sending classified documents from her personal email.
Penny Mordaunt, Sunak’s two-time rival for leadership, will keep her job as leader of the House of Commons, while Raab has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice.
Gove got his old job as secretary three months after he was sacked by Boris Johnson.
Others in his cabinet include Grant Shapps, Gillian Keegan, Steve Barclay, Kemi Badenoch and Thérèse Coffey, who is now Environment Secretary.
Previously, Sunak appointed former ITV News national editor Allegra Stratton as his director of strategic communications in 2020 when he was chancellor, before being poached a few months later to become Johnson’s spokesperson for televised briefings.
It was ITV that obtained video of Stratton joking about a “fictitious party” at a mock press conference held days after an allegedly rule-breaking Christmas party at No 10. She resigned a day later.
Moving vans were seen bringing belongings to Downing Street on Saturday and Sunak was due to move in via No 10.
Vans from Bishop’s Move – which specialize in removals, storage and shipping – were on the street, and employees carried a mattress through No 10’s famous black door.
Sunak and his family were due to return to the apartment they lived in when he was chancellor, several months after moving out, his spokesman said earlier this week.
Downing Street has been contacted for comment.