David Canzini
Downing Street Deputy Chief of Staff
Assumed office
2022
Serving with The Baroness Finn
Ben Gascoigne
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byHenry Cook
Katie Lam
Personal details
Born
David Bruno John Canzini

March 1964 (age 58)
Kenya
Spouse(s)Victoria
Children1
EducationWoodbridge School

David Canzini (born March 1964) is a political advisor in the office of the prime minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, assisting the Downing Street chief of staff, Steve Barclay, as his deputy. Previously, he worked for the Conservative Party as an election agent and campaign director before joining Lynton Crosby's consultancy CTF Partners.

Early life

David Bruno John Canzini was born in Kenya in March 1964 to Frank and Helen Canzini. His father, the chief engineer for East African Airways in Kenya, died in 1972. His mother, who was from Harrogate, returned to the UK where she became a Conservative councillor in Suffolk. He went to Woodbridge School, supported by a bursary, and finished his education at the age of sixteen.[1]

Career

He started training as a manager for Debenhams but was soon recruited as an election agent by the member of Parliament for South Derbyshire, Edwina Currie, who he impressed as keen and smart, "a tidy man... very focused, absolutely on the job, very shrewd, very easy to deal with..."[1]

He next worked for Jackson Carlaw, becoming the director of campaigns for the Scottish Conservative Party, where he was successful as the party gained two seats in the 1992 election, exceeding expectations. "David was at the heart of ensuring that we had a national campaign strategy and fought those elections effectively".[1]

He then worked in Conservative Central Office as Director of Campaigning for the elections of 2001 and 2005, led by William Hague and Michael Howard, which were not successful. He then campaigned for David Davis as the next party leader. When this leadership campaign failed, he left to join CTF Partners – the political consultancy led by Lynton Crosby. There, he worked on Boris Johnson's campaigns to become the London mayor. He supported the Vote Leave campaign for Brexit and worked for the government of Theresa May which tried to implement it. But, as her compromises failed, he then supported Johnson's "Chuck Chequers" rebellion.[1]

In 2022, he was recruited into the office of Boris Johnson, who was then prime minister but having difficulty with the aftermath of the COVID pandemica surge in inflation and the Partygate scandal. There he joined Simone Finn and Ben Gascoigne as a deputy chief of staff, under the Downing Street chief of staff, Steve Barclay.[2] His political strategy is to "get the barnacles off the boat" by focusing on conservative wedge issues and discarding other non-core policies.[3][4]

Opinions of him vary.[3] He has a reputation as a hard man but his friend, Iain Dale, said that he is actually, "not someone who shouts and screams; he is very quietly spoken... he's quite camp in a way".[1][5]

Personal life

He married Victoria while campaigning in Scotland and they have a son. He later remarried. He is an ABBA fan.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Profile, David Canzini. BBC Radio 4 (Audio stream, 15'). 29 May 2022.
  2. ^ Weaver, Matthew (27 February 2022). "Boris Johnson appoints combative election strategist David Canzini". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b Bush, Stephen (23 May 2022). "David Canzini: Boris Johnson's influential aide divides Downing Street". Financial Times.
  4. ^ Smyth, Chris; Wright, Oliver; Swinford, Steven; Zeffman, Henry (20 May 2022). "David Canzini: the key player in Westminster you've never heard of". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460.
  5. ^ Hope, Christopher (12 December 2021). "Boris Johnson in talks to hire 'hard man' ally of Sir Lynton Crosby as No 10 enforcer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2022.