Simone Finn

10 Downing Street

Deputy chief of staff

A new entrant to the tumultuous Downing Street machine, Baroness Simone Finn is a key ally of Carrie Symonds and the ex-girlfriend of Michael Gove. She became deputy chief of staff in Number Ten in February 2021. Finn’s rise was associated with the broader clear-out of Dominic Cummings-aligned advisers in late 2020 and early 2021. An Oxford graduate who worked as an accountant before moving into politics, Finn ran Boris Johnson’s fundraising efforts during his first run for London mayor in 2008, and worked on Michael Gove’s party leadership campaign in 2018. Finn’s first role in Westminster was as a unions and finance adviser under then-Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude from 2010 to 2015. She became a life peer in 2015. Baroness Finn had political ambitions of her own, running unsuccessfully to be the Conservative candidate in Kensington in 2015 and putting herself forward for London mayor in 2018. After a brief stint away from Whitehall, including as a visiting fellow at Oxford, Finn returned to the Cabinet Office as a non- executive director in 2020 and later was promoted to her current post. She courted controversy in February 2021 when she wrote that the civil service ought to be “more open to new ideas and decision making, more commercially aware and less risk-averse.”