The good, the spad and the ugly

What does a special adviser (spad) do? Where does power lie? How do you tell the boss to change the clothes or their poll ratings are tanking?

Matt Chorley speaks to three former special advisers who have just left government. Paul Harrison was Theresa May's political press secretary, having previously been an adviser to Jeremy Hunt. Salma Shah was a special adviser to Sajid Javid at the home office, ministry of housing and department for business. James Johnson was the Downing Street pollster from 2016. All three left government last week, and lift the lid on the dark arts of spin.


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