Theresa May’s former policy chief is heading for a quickfire return to his former City employer just weeks after quitting his Downing Street role.
Sky News has learnt that John Godfrey is in advanced talks about a senior job at Legal & General, the FTSE-100 insurance and investment giant where he worked for nearly a decade.
Sources said that Mr Godfrey attended a half-year results presentation given by L&G’s chief executive, Nigel Wilson, earlier this week, as “an observer”.
L&G is said to be keen to secure Mr Godfrey’s return as quickly as possible.
Whitehall sources said it would first need to be cleared by a committee which scrutinises potential conflicts of interest relating to private sector jobs for former Government officials and advisers.
Reports after the Conservative Party’s disappointing performance in June’s General Election suggested that Mr Godfrey had been frozen out of key discussions about its manifesto by Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, the Prime Minister’s now-departed chiefs of staff.
Mr Godfrey is expected to take a slightly different role at L&G from the one he held until July last year, with a focus on policy as well as corporate affairs.
His return to the company will come amid a period of uncertainty for the insurance industry, with crucial details of post-Brexit transition arrangements still to be negotiated.
L&G is a major investor in infrastructure and urban regeneration projects across the UK, and will be keen to see further details of policies in those areas in the autumn Budget of Philip Hammond, the Chancellor.
Mr Godfrey’s return to the City will follow the departure of several other key advisers with business experience from 10 Downing Street since the election.
Chris Brannigan, who commanded a tank squadron during the liberation of the Iraqi city of Basra in 2003, stepped down as director of government relations in June, while Chris Hopkins, a business relations advise, also departed.
The exodus sparked renewed concerns about Mrs May’s commitment to engaging with the private sector following her decision to disband the Business Advisory Group which met on a quarterly basis under her predecessor, David Cameron.
Those fears have been slightly alleviated by the inaugural meeting last month of a new business council, which included bosses from companies such as BAE Systems and Tesco.
L&G declined to comment on Thursday, while Mr Godfrey could not be reached.