Guto Harri CBE

Guto Harri CBE

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Former Downing Street Director of Communications

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Synopsis

Communications adviser and storyteller, Guto worked alongside Boris Johnson during his tenure as London Mayor and later as Director of Communications at Number 10. Prior to politics, he worked in corporate communications and journalism. Guto was the BBC’s chief Political Correspondent and was posted to Rome and New York, as well as presenting some of the corporation’s flagship news programmes like Westminster Live, The World at One and PM. In his podcast Unprecedented, Guto offers an insider’s perspective on one of the most tumultuous eras in British politics.

Biography

Guto Harri is a writer, broadcaster, and strategic communications consultant who spent nine months as the Director of Communications for Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street. Having met Boris at University and worked for him when he was Mayor of London, Guto entered Downing Street when the Prime Minister was fighting for his political life. As Director of Communications, he oversaw the response to the police investigation into “partygate”, the Sue Gray inquiry, a vote of no confidence and the implosion of the cabinet which led to the PM’s downfall.  Guto has documented the period in his podcast series Unprecedented.

Guto listened in on the calls between Boris Johnson and President Zelensky, joined the PM on foreign visits and international summits to rally support for Ukraine, helped him end the final covid restrictions and start to grapple with the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis. Guto’s challenge in Number 10 was helped by his overhaul of the reputation of News Corporation in the UK after the phone hacking crisis, and project work on some of the most demanding cases in communications on three continents. He also drew on eighteen years as a senior BBC correspondent covering UK politics and postings to Rome and New York.

Born in Cardiff and initially raised on the campus of a psychiatric hospital (where his father was a consultant psychiatrist) Guto was educated in Welsh-medium state schools before studying PPE at The Queens College, Oxford.  He completed a post-grad in Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff before embarking on his broadcast career.

Guto presented a show on GB News when the channel was first launched but was suspended after taking the knee on live in support of sportsmen opposing racism. 

During the pandemic he volunteered as a vaccinator and delivered jabs to nearly a thousand people. He received the Queen’s Jubilee medal for long term service as a volunteer crew member for the RNLI on the Thames.

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