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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

No.10 staff split on strikes

It looks like Downing Street is as split on the strikes as the rest of the country.

No.10 told us this morning that 'a handful' of staff were taking industrial action over pensions reform. But it also revealed that a similarly 'small number' of staffers had volunteered to man the UK Borders.

It emerged soon after PMQs that David Cameron's political spokeswoman Gabby Bertin is among the volunteers who have been trained (for 2 days, no less) in passport control. The PM made a point of praising her loyalty and there's no questioning her pluck.

Yet I can also reveal that the No.10 staff who are on strike are far from mere 'junior' ranks. I understand that among those who are taking action is a press officer who has been leading recent Downing Street communcations on - you guessed it - the strikes. Other staff in the protest are not exactly junior either.

The polls show the voters are pretty divided on today's mass action and some suspect the Coalition deliberately wants to drive a wedge between public and private sector workers.

But unhappiness about the pensions reforms clearly goes to the heart of Number 10 itself.

 

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