Number 10 Policy Unit

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Number 10 Policy Unit
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Royal Arms as used by Her Majesty's Government
Policy Unit overview
Formed 1974
Policy Unit executive
Parent department Prime Minister's Office
Website 10 Downing Street

The Number 10 Policy Unit is a body of policymakers in 10 Downing Street in the British government. Originally set up to support Harold Wilson in 1974, it has gone through a series of guises to suit the needs of successive Prime Ministers, staffed variously by political advisers, civil servants or a combination of both.

The Coalition Government of May 2010 quickly disbanded two major parts of central infrastructure, the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) and Prime Minister's Strategy Unit (PMSU), as part of the Prime Minister's agenda to reduce the number of special advisers and end micromanagement of Whitehall. In their place, a strengthened Policy and Implementation Unit was launched in early 2011, staffed wholly by civil servants and reporting jointly to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister under joint heads Paul Kirby[1] (Policy) and Kris Murrin (Implementation).[2]

Members of the Policy Unit in 2010 were Gavin Lockhart-Mirams (Home Affairs), Sean Worth (Health and Adult Social Care),[3] Chris Brown (Education), Richard Freer (Defence),[4] Tim Luke (Business and Enterprise),[5] Michael Lynas (Big Society)[6] and Ben Moxham (Energy and Environment).[7] The Unit is supported by the Research and Analytics Unit.[8]

The current Downing Street Director of Policy is James Marshall, who was appointed by Theresa May on 27 June 2017.[9]

List of Policy Directors[edit]

# Policy Director Years Prime Minister
1 Bernard Donoughue 1974–1979
2 John Hoskyns 1979–1982 Margaret Thatcher
3 Ferdinand Mount 1982–1983
4 John Redwood 1983–1985
5 Brian Griffiths 1985–1990
6 Sarah Hogg 1990–1995 John Major
7 Norman Blackwell 1995–1997
8 David Miliband 1997–2001 Tony Blair
9 Andrew Adonis[10] 2001–2003
10 Geoff Mulgan[11][12] 2003–2004
11 Matthew Taylor 2005
12 David Bennett 2005–2007
13 Dan Corry 2007–2008 Gordon Brown
14 Nick Pearce 2008–2010
15 Paul Kirby 2011–2013 David Cameron
16 Jo Johnson 2013–2015
17 Camilla Cavendish 2015–2016
18 John Godfrey[13] 2016–2017 Theresa May
19 James Marshall 2017–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cameron's New Backroom Team Aims to Move Story On from U-turns and Cuts [1]
  2. ^ Dudman, Jane (2011-06-09). "No 10 happy with civil servant advisers". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Editor's blog Friday 18 March 2011: EXCLUSIVE - Paul Bate is No 10's new health policy adviser".
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  5. ^ "Cameron abandons hands-off approach to government".
  6. ^ Stratton, Allegra (2010-11-08). "Labour says government putting too many Tory allies in civil service". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Stratton, Allegra (2011-03-10). "Energy policy role at No 10 for former BP man". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "The new 10 Downing Street".
  9. ^ "May turns to ex-teacher as policy head". The Times. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ BBC Radio 4 (2005-12-02). "Any Questions? transcript". BBC. Retrieved 2006-12-17.
  11. ^ Wintour, Patrick; White, Michael (4 September 2003). "Blair pins hopes on sweeping policy changes". the Guardian.
  12. ^ Walker, David (21 April 2004). "Eastern promise". the Guardian.
  13. ^ "Downing Street political advisers". Retrieved 29 March 2017.