One of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss's top allies has been demoted after he was accused of 'aggressively' agitating for her to become Tory leader.
Miss Truss was said to be 'furious' with her parliamentary private secretary Bim Afolami over the move, it is understood.
Multiple sources accused Mr Afolami, the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, of 'unsubtly' sounding out colleagues to assess Miss Truss's chances for a future run at the leadership.
He vehemently denied the claims last night, describing them as 'complete and utter nonsense'. He said it was a 'shame to leave' the Foreign Office but he was 'very excited' to be appointed parliamentary private secretary to Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.
Mr Afolami had angered Downing Street by writing an article in which he warned the Government was 'close to losing the benefit of the doubt'
Mr Afolami had angered Downing Street by writing an article in which he warned the Government was 'close to losing the benefit of the doubt'. A senior Tory said the allegations he had been sounding out colleagues, coupled with the article, led to his demotion.
'Truss is probably quite nervous about positioning herself too prominently or having outriders briefing too aggressively,' they said. 'Bim wasn't doing it in a