Does Penny Mordaunt’s super-rich PR guru want to be the Alastair Campbell of the Tory party?
- Friends of Chris Lewis say he could lead Downing St communications operation
- Veteran public relations strategist is said to be steering her campaign for top job
- This week Mordaunt was the star at party thrown by his charitable foundation
Miss Mordaunt’s millionaire PR guru Chris Lewis is being lined up as the ‘Alastair Campbell of the Tory party’, it has been claimed.
Friends of Mr Lewis suggested he could take the helm of Downing Street’s communications operation if she wins the leadership race.
The veteran public relations strategist is said to be steering her campaign for the top job, ‘if not driving it completely’, said one.
Mr Lewis, pictured, is an ardent Remainer who co-authored a political book last year with Miss Mordaunt, a Brexiteer.
Friends of PR guru Chris Lewis (pictured) suggested he could take the helm of Downing Street’s communications operation if Penny Mordaunt wins the Conservative leadership race
Earlier this week, she was the star attraction at a summer party thrown by Mr Lewis’s charitable foundation.
The Team Lewis Foundation shindig at Westminster Abbey’s College Garden – estimated to have cost £50,000 – featured actors dressed as Paddington and Peter Rabbit mingling with 400 guests.
A friend of Mr Lewis, a married father of two, said: ‘He’s quite a character; a renegade with a taste for motorbikes and drumming and he is a tough taskmaster who expects results. He can be quite mercurial, exploding at times and then calming down very quickly.
The veteran public relations strategist is said to be steering Mordaunt’s campaign for the top job, ‘if not driving it completely’, said one
‘He’s pretty much helping to run Penny’s campaign at present, if not driving it completely, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up running her comms in Downing Street if she wins.’
Another friend told The Daily Telegraph: ‘He…might just want to be the equivalent of Alastair Campbell of the Tory party. He has made a ton of money – now would be the perfect time to make his mark.’
Mr Campbell was Tony Blair’s spin doctor, whose famously abrasive style spawned the character Malcolm Tucker in BBC comedy series The Thick Of It.
Neither Mr Lewis nor Miss Mordaunt, who has denied he is bankrolling her campaign, commented yesterday.