Isaac Levido: the man to win Rishi Sunak the next election?
Though often seen as a place to get away from the pressures of Downing Street, the 16th-century manor house has in recent years become the setting for crisis meetings for prime ministers and their top teams.
On Thursday Rishi Sunak and his cabinet made the same trip out of London, joined by the Tory strategist who is credited with masterminding Boris Johnson’s 2019 election victory, Isaac Levido.
The Australian political strategist, and his mentor, Sir Lynton Crosby, have been deeply influential in British politics ever since Mr Crosby helped Boris Johnson win the London mayoral race in 2008.
His protégé, Mr Levido, first took centre-stage in the Tory general election machine just over 3 years ago, helping Boris Johnson win the biggest majority since Thatcher.
Though very much not a household name, his influence has been celebrated by Tory staff and MPs alike, with Conservative HQ even chanting his name in celebration on election night in 2019.
Despite his revered reputation for winning within the party, he was surprisingly ditched by Liz Truss during her short tenure as Prime Minister, with key figures of the 2019 campaign such as Dominic Cummings saying that she had made a mistake and was a “human hand grenade”.
He wrote on Twitter: “We worked very closely together. He is very able. He also really helped the country in covid meltdown. This news confirms the Human Handgrenade Team cannot escape its own burst radius”
Later that month with Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister, Nadhim Zahawi invited Mr Levido back into the fold and preparation began for the next election, set to be some time before 2025.
In Chequers on Tuesday it was reported that Mr Levido would tell the cabinet that there is a “narrow” path to victory if the Tories can deliver on the public priorities.
Though Labour now have a substantive polling lead, Tory sources said that they feel this lead is “softer than it looks”, according to the Daily Mail.
The source added: “The polling suggests that Starmer still is not loved and that support for Labour is not baked in. People will vote Labour if the Tories don’t get their act together, but there is still an opportunity to salvage things.”