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Gavin Barwell’s new number

The switchboard operators at 10 Downing Street are well-known for their precision and professionalism, as they dutifully connect callers to the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister to senior officials, dignitaries and foreign leaders around the world.

But it appears that they had an uncharacteristic slip-up the other day. The Daily Mail’s Sebastian Shakespeare reports that when a senior civil servant in a major Whitehall department recently rang the line and asked for Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s chief of staff, they clearly were misheard by the Number 10 switchboard.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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