Johnson’s new cost-of-living tsar said PM should go

Downing Street has defended the appointment of the Government’s new cost-of-living business tsar after it emerged he is a Welsh nationalist who had called for Boris Johnson to go.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the remarks by David Buttress, the founder and former chief executive of the Just Eat online food delivery service, were “not relevant” to his new role.

It followed the disclosure that Mr Buttress publicly condemned the Prime Minister’s conduct earlier this year after it was revealed No 10 staff had been invited to a “bring your own booze party” while Covid restrictions were still in place.

Writing on Twitter the day after details of the party in the Downing Street garden were reported in the media, he said: “Why is it that the worse people often rise to the highest office and stay there!?

“For me, it isn’t important what job you do or your title, but it is vitally important why you do the job and what you achieve.

“Boris has to go, he just has to. You can’t survive judgment like this.”

Mr Buttress has also been a passionate advocate of Welsh independence – something the Government opposes – complaining “no party in the last hundred years has done more damage to Wales than the Conservatives”.

In one speech in January 2020, he declared: “Time is up on Westminster for me. Let them have the kind of powers and government that they want.

“Let them fill it with Boris Johnsons and right wing extremism – have what they like – but that is not the Wales I know. It is not a government I can recognise.”

In response, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “As you would expect for any sort of appointment, the requisite due diligence is carried out. This instance is no different.

“The individual you are referring to has a very clear task with regards to the cost of living as opposed to any other areas of Government policy.

“Anyone who looks at Mr Buttress’s CV can see that he is well-qualified to advise the Government in this specific area. Those views are not relevant to the role he is doing.”