'Samantha the Panther' joins Downing Street  in new 'gatekeeper' role

Now Boris Johnson bags Queen’s ex-aide Samantha the Panther for his new No10 team in bid to bring Downing St under control

  • Samantha Cohen previously worked as Her Majesty’s assistant private secretary
  • 50-year-old will now take up the role of Downing Street ‘gatekeeperfor the PM
  • ‘Samantha the Pantherhad also acted as Duchess of Sussex’s private secretary
  • A former close aide of 여왕 is expected to become 다우닝가’s new ‘gatekeeper’ in a bid to bring order to No 10.

    Samantha Cohen, who worked as Her Majesty’s assistant private secretary for eight years, will control access to the Prime Minister in a role which has not been filled since 데이비드 카메론’s premiership.

    The 50-year-old, nicknamed ‘Samantha the Panther’ due to her no-nonsense, professional approach, also acted as the 서 섹스 공작부 인’s private secretary for 18 months to help prepare Meghan for royal life.

    Mrs Cohen, who left the Palace in 2019 후 18 years there, will take over the management of the Prime Minister’s diary as the director of government relations.

    Though no official announcement has been made, Mr Johnson is believed to have successfully poached her for the role.

    Mrs Cohen, who was a journalist and civil servant in her native Australia before landing her first job in the Palace, will become the latest addition to No 10’s revamped operation following Wednesday’s appointment of Samantha Jones as the most senior civil servant in No 10.

    Samantha Cohen, 50, who worked as Her Majesty’s assistant private secretary for eight years, will control access to the Prime Minister in a role which has not been filled since David Cameron’s premiership

    Samantha Cohen, 50, who worked as Her Majesty’s assistant private secretary for eight years, will control access to the Prime Minister in a role which has not been filled since David Cameron’s premiership

    The mother of three joined Buckingham Palace in 2001 as junior press officer. She was later head of communications, the Queen’s assistant private secretary and a top aide to Meghan

    The mother of three joined Buckingham Palace in 2001 as junior press officer. She was later head of communications, the Queen’s assistant private secretary and a top aide to Meghan

    Former NHS nurse Mrs Jones, a top health adviser to Mr Johnson since last April, was part of an influx of fresh staff which includes Guto Harri and Steve Barclay.

    Mr Johnson is attempting to revamp his team to address concerns laid bare by the Sue Gray report last week, which criticises ‘failures of leadership and judgment’ in No 10.

    The ‘gatekeeper’ role was most recently held by Kate Fall, who also served as Mr Cameron’s deputy chief of staff.

    Nicknamed ‘Samantha the Panther’ due to her no-nonsense, professional approach, she also acted as the Duchess of Sussex’s private secretary for 18 months to help prepare Meghan for royal life

    Nicknamed ‘Samantha the Panther’ due to her no-nonsense, professional approach, she also acted as the Duchess of Sussex’s private secretary for 18 months to help prepare Meghan for royal life

    Sue Nye and Anji Hunter did the job under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair respectively.

    The practice stopped under Theresa May, 하나, and Mr Johnson has gone without the role until now – which is seen by some as contributing to the chaos around him.

    It is not yet clear whether this is a political appointment or a civil service role.

    The mother of three joined Buckingham Palace in 2001 as junior press officer. She was later head of communications, the Queen’s assistant private secretary and a top aide to Meghan.

    She left in October 2019 amid claims she had been ‘treated terribly’.

    Mrs Cohen has since been the co-chairman of Cool Earth, a non-profit organisation combating deforestation and climate change.

    이후 2020, she has also been chief executive of the Commonwealth enterprise and investment council, which promotes trade across the 54 member nations.

    Last year Mrs Cohen co-founded the Queen’s Green Canopy, a tree-planting initiative launched to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

    After Harry and Meghan, it’s another tricky brief for Samantha Cohen as she takes up her new ‘gatekeeperDowning Street post

    By Rebecca English, Royal Editor for the Daily Mail

    After working for the Royal Family for nearly two decades, including a bruising year with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Samantha Cohen is a byword for tact and discretion.

    She was liked and respected when she worked in Buckingham Palace’s press office for nine years, rising to become head of communications before moving into the Queen’s private office in 2010.

    Brisbane-born Miss Cohen worked there for a further eight years as assistant private secretary, in charge of her official diary and dealings with government, the Church, charities and other national organisations.

    Brisbane-born Mrs Cohen left her role at the Palace in October 2019 amid claims she had been ‘treated terribly’.

    Brisbane-born Mrs Cohen left her role at the Palace in October 2019 amid claims she had been ‘treated terribly’.

    Genial and approachable, but never a pushover, the stylish mother of three was a popular figure in the household and never put an elegantly-shod foot wrong.

    ‘She’s just bloody brilliant and a thoroughly nice person to boot,’ said one close source.

    Most assumed she would be given the top job as the Queen’s principal private secretary one day – and indeed she was named Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen in 2016 for her loyalty.

    But the following year it was revealed that she had suddenly resigned after the ousting of her boss, Lord Geidt, whom she had been loyal to, following a palace coup.

    But the powers-that-be were keen not to lose her expertise and persuaded her to postpone her departure in order to smooth the newly engaged Harry and Meghan’s path as a royal couple.

    She agreed to go and work for them as interim private secretary, but sources say she found them ‘incredibly difficult’ to handle.

    Mrs Cohen is known to have likened working for the Sussexes as trying to deal ‘with a couple of teenagers’. She left in 2019.

    Friends expressed shock last night that she would even consider taking a job at the heart of No 10 after the ‘poisoned chalice’ of the Sussex position.

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