Andrew Gilligan

10 Downing Street

Special adviser

Despite losing the battle to scrap HS2 – as did Dominic Cummings – Gilligan’s influence with Boris Johnson is not to be underestimated. One of the few Number Ten policy unit Spads who truly understands the media, he is a former journalist himself, having been at the centre of the BBC Iraq war controversy which led to the Hutton Report of 2004. Having advised Johnson at City Hall on transport policy, Gilligan is at the heart of the levelling up agenda, responsible for separating out the white elephants from the infrastructure projects that will cement the “blue wall”.