Boris Johnson aide’s allies dismiss bullying claims as ‘laughable’

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An attempt has been made to block a peerage for Boris Johnson’s former Chief of Staff. Dan Rosenfield faces claims he bullied junior members of a Downing Street team.

Staffers who worked with Mr Rosenfield at Number 10 have told The Times it would be “entirely inappropriate” to elevate Mr Rosenfield due to his alleged behaviour.

They have registered their concerns with the Cabinet Office’s Propriety and Ethics unit, which vets candidates for the Lords Appointments Commission.

People close to Mr Rosenfield have denied the claims, describing them as “laughable” and hailing the former Chief of Staff’s professionalism.

Those who are complaining claim Mr Rosenfield presided over an overbearing culture, which allegedly contributed to a number of young, female staff members leaving late last year.

Two sources said some junior staff were found other roles as they considered him difficult to work for.

One staff member alleged he had a “dismissive” attitude towards some female employees while another said he had a “David Brent-style” sense of humour, making “odd, sexist comments”.

A woman who reported feeling mistreated said: “There was a lot of screaming, particularly at women officials. A number of times colleagues would say to me, ‘Are you OK?’ after he had left the room.

“The problem is, the worst-treated are those who are most reluctant to make the complaint, because they don’t want to damage their careers.”


Another person described “a well-known incident” during which a young woman didn’t get Mr Rosenfield’s sandwich exactly when he wanted it.

They claimed he summoned her into the office and screamed “when I want my sandwich, I want my f***ing sandwich”. For the junior civil servants who were very badly treated, there was no option other than to put up with it.”

However, other colleagues of Mr Rosenfield’s at Downing Street dismissed the allegations as “laughable”.

One said that Mr Rosenfield was an exemplary Chief of Staff who used professionalism and respect to bring order to 10 Downing Street.  

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They accused the former political aides levelling the accusation as being disgruntled, further adding they were manufacturing controversy in an obviously political campaign.  

Another commented that Mr Rosenfield was highly professional at all times, claiming that none of the allegations were raised during his time as Chief of Staff. The source claimed the accusers are engaing in malicious targeting of Boris Johnson’s allies.

The Cabinet Office has been approached for comment.

The Times reports that a number of complaints have been received by the Propriety and Ethics unit with a source telling the same publication they had been told the Lords Appointments Commission would be notified.

It has not been possible to contact Mr Rosenfield directly.

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