Declan Lyons

10 Downing Street

Political Secretary

Having served his political apprenticeship as a desk officer at the elite Conservative Research Department within party headquarters, Lyons caught the eye of Michael Gove, becoming his Spad at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs for a time. Later, Lyons joined the research and briefing unit at Number Ten, the small but busy group of Spads who provide media briefings to cabinet ministers before they do broadcast and other interviews. Though now a senior staffer in Downing Street, Lyons remains a key ally of Gove’s and would be likely to stay (or gain a further promotion) if the Cabinet Office minister moved in to Number Ten. With predecessor Ben Gascoigne on paternity leave, Lyons stepped in as acting political secretary last year, a remarkable rise in such a short time for the canny Spad. In May 2021, Lyons permanently replaced Gascoigne, who had worked alongside Johnson since he first became mayor of London. The former head of briefing at Downing Street will now have to do much more than simply put the government’s message out, but his rapid ascension suggests Lyons has all the trust and credibility he needs.