The suspension of one of Liz Truss’s senior aides has ended after an investigation into a hostile briefing against Sajid Javid, Downing Street has said.
Jason Stein, a special adviser to the Prime Minister, had been suspended pending an investigation by the Cabinet Office propriety and ethics team, which is responsible for standards across government, according to reports.
It came after a No 10 source described former Cabinet minister Mr Javid as “shit” to a newspaper as they dismissed suggestions Ms Truss had considered the former health secretary to be her replacement chancellor.
A No 10 press secretary said on Friday: “The investigation has concluded and the suspension has ended.”
On Thursday, just over an hour before Ms Truss’s dramatic resignation as Prime Minister, Downing Street did not deny reports that she had authorised briefings against Mr Javid and Tory grandee Michael Gove.
Her official spokesman told reporters: “You know the Prime Minister takes this very seriously. She thinks it’s very important to treat parliamentary colleagues courteously.”
But he did not refute a Times report that she authorised one of her closest aides to accuse Mr Gove of being a “sadist”.
Downing Street also said that Ms Truss “made very clear to her team that some of the sort of briefings that we have seen are completely unacceptable about parliamentary colleagues and they must stop”.
Over the weekend, the Sunday Times carried a report with a No 10 source dismissing claims that Ms Truss had considered Mr Javid as a candidate to replace Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor.
“The Prime Minister laughed out loud at the suggestion,” the source reportedly said.
“She has sat in the Cabinet with Javid for 10 years and she knows who is good and who is shit.”
Jeremy Hunt was ultimately appointed Chancellor and was tasked with reassuring markets after the economic turmoil unleashed by Ms Truss’s disastrous mini-budget.
Mr Javid had been listed to pose Ms Truss a question in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon.
But the suspension of Mr Stein was reported just before Prime Minister’s Questions kicked off, and Mr Javid did not use the opportunity.
Mr Stein worked for the Duke of York ahead of Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight interview.