(BBC) One of Boris Johnson’s closest aides, director of communications Lee Cain, has resigned amid reports of internal tensions in Downing Street.
He will leave next month, despite being offered a promotion to chief of staff.
His departure prompted speculation about the future of the PM’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, but the BBC was told he would stay for now.
No 10 denied Mr Johnson had been distracted by the saga, saying he was “fully focussed” on tackling Covid.
Mr Cain has been at the PM’s side since he was a press officer for the Vote Leave campaign under Mr Cummings.
Many will not have heard of him before the story broke, but his resignation comes at a time when the government is facing big decisions over its coronavirus strategy and the future of post-Brexit trade with the EU.
After a number of rows and U-turns within government in recent months, No 10 will see communications as key in connecting with the country and trying to gain support for its decisions.