Tories predicted Dominic Cummings could be the next to come out of Downing Street today after an extraordinary public civil war – and threatened to derail Boris Johnson's desperate battle for control of the coronavirus.
The heart of the government is in chaos after longtime Johnson aide aide Lee Cain, a Vote Leave veteran and Cummings loyalist, announced he was stepping down with Carrie Symonds, who appears to have blocked his promotion to Chief of Staff No. 10.
The withdrawal was the culmination of a bitter power struggle within Johnson's top team, with rival factions battling for supremacy despite the pandemic death toll exceeding 50,000 and the threat of the economy imploding.
Mr Cummings does not want the job himself but has urged his ally to be appointed despite the prime minister's fiancée – herself a former Conservative media chief – warned that it would be "a mistake" in light of the pandemic campaign gone far.
She is reported to have complained that Operation 10 was carried out "uncooperatively" and that the Prime Minister was not given "good advice".
There are also allegations that Allegra Stratton, Downing Street's new on-screen press secretary, and senior aide Munira Mirza battled the move amid a major mutiny from Tory backbenches over lockdown guidelines and upset a number of degrading U-turns on issues such as free school meals during school holidays. It would have meant that the prime minister's core circle was all male.
Mr Cummings appeared at No. 10 this morning as usual, despite having lost the final tug-of-war for the Prime Minister's ears and blanking out questions about his own future.
But Senior Tories said it was clear that Mr. Cummings had No10 under control and would be leaving soon.
A cheering Conservative MP told MailOnline that "adults are back in control". "Vote Leave is gone!" They said.
A well-connected Tory colleague said it was telling that special advisers had begun researching against Mr Cummings and suggested he could find an excuse to leave without losing face.
& # 39; A revolution is taking place. Things have clearly fallen apart, "they said.
Boris Johnson's top aide Lee Cain (who comes to work today) has announced that he will resign based on rumors Carrie Symonds attempted to block his promotion to Chief of Staff of Number 10
Boris Johnson (returning from his morning run today) struggles to hold Operation # 10 together after the bitter power struggle
Mr Cummings (pictured left today) had urged his ally to be promoted in the face of opposition from the Prime Minister's fiancée, Carrie Symonds (right), who warned his appointment was "a mistake".
There are also allegations that Allegra Stratton, Downing Street & # 39; s new on-screen press secretary, was against the appointment
Who's Who in the Civil War between Cummings & # 39; Brexit Boys and the & # 39; Carrie Symonds Crew & # 39;
Cummings outside Downing Street in one of the outfits that made him an unlikely style icon
Official title: Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister
Boris Johnson's outsider Svengali, who gained national fame for his trip to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight before traveling to London.
The former director of Vote Leave backed his former campaign agent Lee Cain as chief of staff to the prime minister – which sparked a bitter argument with Johnson's girlfriend Carrie Symonds, who warned it would be a "mistake".
Known for his snappy demeanor and fondness for slob-style hoodies and jackets over suits, Cummings eventually lost the vicious tug of war, leading to Cain's resignation and speculation to follow.
He is known to have a difficult relationship with Symonds. She was reportedly against his aggressive stance on politics and against the tendency to "seek unnecessary fights" that could damage the prime minister's image, according to reports earlier this year.
Born in County Durham, Mr. Cummings is married to Mary Wakefield, a senior journalist for Spectator, a Tory Bible that Boris Johnson once edited.
Cummings ally Cleo Watson seen outside of No. 10
Official title: Head of Prime Minister's Priorities and Campaigns
It's become a familiar ritual on Downing Street: Photographers demand photos of the elegant Cleo Watson as she walks to door 10 with a disheveled Dominic Cummings. The couple look, as you put it, like a gazelle with a 'pit pony'.
Watson is Cummings' special adviser and the couple have a close relationship. A Whitehall source describes her as a "Cummings whisperer" because she is one of the few people who can calm him down when he gets angry.
Watson is one of five high-performing sisters from an extraordinary family whose story could have been taken from a novel by Jane Austen. In fact, she is the second of her siblings to work closely with a Tory leader. Her sister Annabel, 41, known as Bee, was Theresa May's chief of staff.
Watson worked with Vote Leave during the 2016 EU referendum before getting a top job in Political Department No. 10 during the May tenure.
She remained at the heart of the Johnson administration and now bears the title of "Head of Prime Minister's Priorities and Campaigns".
Oliver Lewis is another member of Vote Leave who is now working at No10
Oliver Lewis (nickname & # 39; Sonic & # 39;)
Age: Late 20s
Official title: Brexit policy advisor
Oliver Lewis, a former employee of Vote Leave, is a close ally of Cummings who is known to be nicknamed "Sonic".
Oxford-trained Lewis worked closely with Michael Gove on no-deal preparations, drawing inspiration from Cummings' love of science to create a giant table to model difference scenarios based on techniques used by NASA based.
He has also worked closely with chief Brexit negotiator David Frost and was accused by EU sources earlier this year of repeatedly attempting to end negotiations, according to The Sun.
After helping his mentor find Cain at the top of Downing Street, Lewis is also embroiled in the ugly fallout following the Symonds victory.
Reports today indicated that he was also seriously considering his position.
CARRIE & # 39; S CREW
Carrie Symonds – seen at a Memorial Day service in Whitehall on Sunday – has become a force to be reckoned with on Downing Street
Official title: N / A
Symonds, Boris Johnson's fiancée and former Conservative Party media chief, has become a force to be counted in # 10.
She is known to have a difficult relationship with Cummings and she blocked his offer to appoint his ally Lee Cain as chief of staff to the Prime Minister. She insisted that this would be a "mistake" considering how far advanced the campaign against the pandemic was.
A brutal standoff ensued before Symonds emerged victorious – Cain announced his resignation and Cummings reportedly considered his position as well.
Symonds grew up in West London and attended Godolphin and Latymer School, an independent day school for girls, and the University of Warwick.
She worked for the Tory Party from 2009 before making headlines when her affair with Mr Johnson, 56, came to light.
A passionate conservationist, she had a direct impact on government policy after a badger kill in Derbyshire was canceled, a move that saved thousands of animals.
Allegra Stratton is ready to be the face of Boris Johnson's new US-style TV press conference
Official title: No10 press officer
Allegra Stratton, the former journalist ready to become the face of Downing Street & # 39; s first US-style televised press conferences, was what caused the power struggle that erupted.
After her appointment, she insisted that she would only be accountable to the Prime Minister and not to Cain. Fearing that the former Daily Mirror journalist might end up on the sidelines, Boris offered him the role of chief of staff.
Then Stratton and her allies entered, determined to prevent this.
A well-respected former journalist for the Guardian and ITV, among other things, Stratton helped Chancellor Rishi Sunak improve his public image before he was poached by No. 10.
Stratton is a fully paid metropolitan elite educated at the Latymer Upper School in London (fees: £ 21,000 per year) and studied anthropology and archeology at Cambridge. She is married to James Forsyth, the viewer's political editor.
Interestingly, Cain was recently ridiculed for disguising himself as a chicken in the 2010 election to pursue former Tory leader David Cameron, and it was recently revealed that Stratton was also dressed up as one, dancing at a cocky Westminster party who led the conga by veteran political expert Andrew Neil.
Munira Mirza is the phenomenally bright head of the Policy Unit at No10
Official title: Director of Policy Unit Number 10
Munira Mirza is the highly respected and phenomenally astute political director of Downing Street.
As a longtime Boris advisor from his time as Mayor of London, she prefers to work outside the limelight, but is also said to have made clear her rejection of Cain's appointment.
The Oldham-born academic is a popular figure around # 10. & # 39; She has a huge brain but carries it easily. Boris listens to her, ”said one source.
Mirza's family came to the UK from Pakistan and her father found work as a factory while her mother taught Urdu part-time.
She attended Breeze High School and Oldham Sixth Form College, where she was the only student to get a place in Oxford, where she studied English literature.
As a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Mirza is now a member of Johnson's circle and was named by the Prime Minister as one of the five women who shaped his life.
Ms. Stratton reportedly only agreed to take the job if she reported directly to the Prime Minister and not to Mr. Cain. He felt "completely undermined".
Mr Cain was apparently against her appointment and the couple hadn't spoken since she got in the role two weeks ago.
Tory MPs and advisers hailed the news as an opportunity for a "reset" after a "tribal and aggressive" first phase for the Johnson administration.
There had been a vicious reaction when it was found that Mr. Cain was on the top job yesterday. Angry politicians sniffed that it was a "Cain incapable" case and another minister said, "WTF ?!"
In his resignation statement, Mr. Cain acknowledged that he had been offered the powerful post – which the Allies insisted that he "basically does what he does anyway" – but after "careful consideration" he would leave at the end of the year.
He said, “After careful consideration, I resigned as Communications Director No. 10 tonight and will be leaving at the end of the year.
& # 39; It has been a privilege to have worked as a consultant to Mr Johnson for the past three years – as part of a team that helped him win the Tory leadership competition and achieve the largest Conservative majority in three decades – and it was an honor to be asked to serve as chief of staff to the prime minister. & # 39;
He also paid tribute to Mr. Johnson's "loyalty and leadership" and thanked his colleagues at number 10.
In response to the resignation, Mr. Johnson said: “I would like to thank Lee for his extraordinary service to the government over the past four years.
“He has been a true ally and friend and I am delighted that he will remain Director of Communications until the new year and help restructure the company. He will be missed very much. & # 39;
The former journalist will be in office until the end of the year, when he will be replaced by the Prime Minister's official spokesman, James Slack.
In a round of interviews this morning, Community Secretary Robert Jenrick tried desperately to downplay the situation and insisted that the government's focus was still on the deadly pandemic.
He told BBC Breakfast: “It is understandable that journalists in particular are interested in the personalities who work as consultants at 10 Downing Street.
& # 39; But the prime minister runs the government.
“He is surrounded by a good team, a strong advisory team and of course the cabinet.
"Our only focus in government is trying to steer the country through the pandemic."
He told Sky News, “Ultimately, this is a person.
"The prime minister runs the government."
Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove – the former head of Mr Cummings and still a close ally – was challenged in the Commons, with which he allied in the extraordinary spit.
SNP Cabinet Office spokesman Pete Wishart said the "faceless characters who actually rule this country at number 10 are on each other's neck".
Mr. Wishart asked, "Which side is he on – Doms or Carries?"
Mr Gove replied: “I am on the side of people from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth who voted to leave the European Union and who want us as the United Kingdom to successfully use these new opportunities (Brexit).
"I know that the Scottish government is completely foreign to intrigue and briefing wars behind the scenes, so I can imagine his shock and astonishment when the papers report."
Mr Gove said the government continues to make decisions in the interests of the whole of the UK.
Commons chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg said Mr Cain's departure was a "loss to the government".
He told MPs, "May I just say what a fantastic civil servant he was, someone who was instrumental in making the campaign a success and someone who was a great contribution to this government."
The heartfelt declarations by Mr Cain and Mr Johnson masked the disorder at the heart of government, with warring factions on Downing Street vying for influence.
Mr Cummings, who has crammed the corridors of Number 10 with old allies from election leave, originally considered his position but has chosen to stay in government, the BBC reported.
The fact that the promotion of Mr Cain was supported by Mr Cummings is one reason the Members have been so hostile.
Tory chief whip Mark Spencer is said to have been "inundated" with messages from MPs urging him to intervene with the prime minister in an attempt to block Mr. Cain's appointment.
A former minister had warned that if Group No. 10 tightened its vote, it would be a "nail in the coffin" of the Johnson administration.
Multiple sources said Ms. Symonds, 32, stepped in to try to block the appointment.
One said: “Carrie has had her own run-ins with Lee, but she has also been pressured by MPs to stop this.
“You have to remember that she is a former communications director for the party and has good relations with many high-ranking MPs.
"She told the Prime Minister that it would be a mistake to give Lee the job – she was just trying to stop him from doing something stupid that would damage the government."
Another friend told the Times, “She knows he's performing the operation in an uncooperative manner where few people can get to him.
“There is no disagreement, he doesn't get any good advice. His top advisors lead him into the ground. & # 39;
The appointment is said to have been turned down by other older women on Downing Street, including Munira Mirza, Johnson's political leader, and Allegra Stratton, the new press secretary. Priti Patel's allies insisted she was not involved this week despite claims she had pushed against the move.
Election guru Sir Lynton Crosby, who had mastered Mr Johnson's mayoral victories in London, is also said to have told the Prime Minister to reconsider.
On another layer of intrigue, No10 finds himself in the middle of a frantic hunt for the "talkative rat" who leaked news of the UK blanket lockdown before a final decision was made.
The leak late last month enraged Mr Johnson, who wanted to take a few days longer to see if the draconian measures were necessary. Instead, he had to call a press conference on Saturday night to confirm what would happen.
There are suggestions that ministers have now been excluded from the formal cabinet investigation with advisers in the crosshairs.
Senior Tory backers said there had been long-standing concerns about Downing Street operations.
Sir Charles Walker, vice chairman of the 1922 Conservative MPs Committee, told BBC Radio 4's Today program: “I believe Operation 10 has been unfortunate for some time.
Members of Parliament felt left out of the decision-making process and that is no secret.
"The real chance is that the position of chief of staff will be filled by someone well connected to the Conservative Party and its representation in the House of Commons."
Former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry – a longtime ally of Mr Johnson who fell out of favor earlier this year – said Prime Minister Johnson "stamped his Johnson authority" on Downing Street.
The Rossendale and Darwen MP told ITV's Good Morning Britain: “The departure of Lee Cain shows, I believe, that the Prime Minister is regaining control of his government.
“He's moving from a campaign operation to one that focuses solely on good government. I think it's a good move for the prime minister.
"If we pass this grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from this appalling disease, I think it will be high time for Number 10 to change the guard."
When asked if Ms. Symonds was against Mr. Cain's promotion, Mr. Berry said, "I made contact with people in the building, that's actually not quite my understanding of what happened."
He said Mr Johnson has a “renewed sense of mission” adding, “I think this is a good sign that he is moving away from a mere campaign government, an exit from the general election and then the Covid crisis, and really." Stamping his Johnson's authority over operation number 10. & # 39;
Sir Roger Gale said Mr. Cummings was a "liability" and the Prime Minister needed a chief of staff in "big boy pants".
The veteran MP said: "The government, and Downing Street in particular, should focus all of its efforts on the pandemic and the Brexit endgame, and frankly this is a distraction that must not and must not be done by the Prime Minister.
"For my money, Cummings is a commitment, and what the Prime Minister needs and deserves is a first-rate chief of staff who is a serious heavyweight. I think the phrase we are using right now is Big Boy Pants."
Guto Harri, who worked with Mr Johnson at City Hall, said it was an opportunity for a "reset" when he was one of the most popular politicians in the country.
"It's an opportunity for a government that is more professional … and far less aggressive and tribal than ever before."
But Sir Keir Starmer took advantage of the chaos and told LBC radio that the country was going to scratch its head.
& # 39; That is pathetic. I think millions of people will wake up this morning scratching their heads and say what on earth is going on? & # 39; he said.
"We are in the middle of a pandemic, we are all worried about our health and our families, we are all worried about our jobs, and this lot is arguing behind the door of number 10.
'It's pathetic. Pull yourself together, focus on the job in hand. & # 39;
The crisis had been brewing for weeks, and Mr Cain feared his role could be undermined by the arrival of Ms Stratton, who is scheduled to start daily televised reviews on behalf of No10 in the New Year.
Angela Rayner, vice-chairwoman of the Labor Party, responded to news of power struggles within No. 10 and tweeted, “Pathetic and childish. In the middle of a pandemic, when we hit the tragic milestone of 50,000 deaths a few hours ago.
"This absolute shower would not know how to rule in the national interest if it slapped them in the face."
Mr. Cain is one of Mr. Johnson's most trusted advisors. He has been at his side since 2017 when he left Theresa May's Downing Street establishment to work with him in the Foreign Office.
When Mr Johnson left Ms. May's cabinet in 2018 because of Brexit, Mr Cain continued to work with him.
He then helped run his leadership campaign before joining his government as communications director.
The two men also worked together during the 2016 Brexit referendum, when Mr Cain was press secretary for the Mr Cummings-led and Mr Johnson and Michael Gove-led election campaign.
Last year he ordered ministers to boycott BBC Radio 4's Today programming because of perceived bias. The ban was only lifted when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
Mr Cain has also imposed a boycott of ITV's Good Morning Britain which has lasted more than six months.
That year, he sparked a strike by political journalists after banning news agency reporters from attending a No. 10 briefing with officials.
Mr Cain has built a reputation as a passionate Brexiteer and helped shape Mr Johnson's tough stance over the past year that led him to controversially prorogate Parliament to prevent pro-Remain MPs from getting a no- Block deal exit.
But this year it turned out that he saw the job as a vote leave more as a route into politics than a calling.
A former journalist colleague told PR Week, “He told me,“ I just want to get into politics. I applied for two jobs and one of them.
“I applied for Remain as Head of Broadcast and Leave as Head of Broadcast. If this ever comes out, I'll be in big trouble.
Munira Mirza (pictured left), 42, the highly respected political director of Downing Street, is also said to have opposed the promotion. James Slack (right) becomes the new communications director
Lee Cain's promotion was assisted by Mr Cummings, whose close relationship with Mr Cain has been a source of hostility among Members
Mr. Cain, a campaign veteran who has served Mr. Johnson since serving in the Foreign Office, will be replaced by James Slack, the Prime Minister's official spokesman, as Director of Communications
The appointment is said to have been turned down by other high-ranking women on Downing Street, including Munira Mirza, Johnson's boss, and new press secretary Allegra Stratton (pictured with Cain).
Cain is a former journalist who disguised himself as the Daily Mirror's polling hen who chased David Cameron and other leading Tories in the 2010 election campaign
Jack Doyle is the government's assistant communications director and remains in a key position
ANDREW PIERCE: How the Carrie Symonds crew beat the Boris Bruiser in their chicken game
ByAndrew Pierce for the Daily Mail
The country may face its greatest threat since World War II, the death toll from Covid may have exceeded 50,000 – but Downing St is now focused on a crisis it created itself.
Last night, Downing Street communications director Lee Cain sensationally resigned after making a rash decision to take on an impressive quartet of Westminster's most powerful women.
While he was reportedly immediately replaced by the Prime Minister's official spokesman James Slack, the aftershocks of his departure will reverberate for some time.
Ironically, the confrontation was started by the Prime Minister himself. He was so scared that sloppy Cain was on the verge of quitting that he wanted to promote him to the role of White House-style chief of staff to persuade him to stay.
Negotiations have been going on for several weeks, but the news came only yesterday morning.
And then all hell broke loose and an unlikely Downing Street Sisterhood was mobilized. At the head of the prosecution was Boris & # 39; glamorous partner Carrie Symonds, a former Conservative Party communications director who isn't a fan of Cain.
At the head of the prosecution was Boris & # 39; glamorous partner Carrie Symonds, a former Conservative Party communications director who isn't a fan of Cain
With Carrie, arguably the prime minister's most influential wife in modern political times, fighting against Cain, there would be only one outcome. Carrie also had Home Secretary Priti Patel, 48, the oldest woman in the cabinet, by her side, along with Munira Mirza, 42, the highly respected and phenomenally bright head of Downing Street's political department.
Meanwhile, Allegra Stratton, 39, the former journalist who was ready to face the first televised press conferences on Downing Street – again shadow of the west wing – was the cause of the power struggle that had broken out.
The main actors of No10 and their convenient connections
Boris Johnson's government apparatus is intertwined through marriage and experience with various sections of the Tory media and establishment.
Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's shadowy Svengali, worked with Lee Cain as he led the campaign to win the 2016 referendum before both were asked to join Mr Johnson's new administration on Downing Street.
Mr. Cummings is also married to Mary Wakefield, a senior journalist for Spectator Magazine, a Tory Bible that Boris Johnson once edited.
New Press Secretary # 10, Allegra Stratton, is a well-respected former journalist for the Guardian and ITV, among others, but is also married to James Forsyth, the Spectator's political editor.
Elsewhere, Dido Harding, the Tory peer who faced much criticism after joining Test and Trace, has been married to Tory MP and ex-minister John Penrose for 25 years.
The current Treasury Secretary of the Treasury, Jesse Norman, is married to Kate Bingham, who was appointed Chair of the UK Vaccines Task Force in May.
Upon her appointment, she insisted that she would be accountable only to the Prime Minister and not to Mr Cain – who happens to be an ally of Boris & # 39; top aide, Dominic Cummings.
Fearing that Cain might get on the sidelines, Boris offered him the prestigious new post.
And here the quartet entered, determined to prevent this.
While the decision to establish a stalemate at such a time of crisis is remarkable, the sudden emergence of Symonds as a force to be reckoned with has truly astounded Westminster.
"It's like something out of a soap opera," said a frustrated Tory MP last night. Seit einigen Wochen denkt der Premierminister, ermutigt von vielen hochrangigen Tory-Abgeordneten, über die Idee eines Stabschefs nach, um Ordnung in das Chaos zu bringen, das die Operationen von No10 zu durchdringen schien.
Doch nachdem sich herausstellte, dass Cain ein Spitzenreiter war, reagierten dieselben Abgeordneten mit Aufruhr. In seiner Rolle als Kommunikationsleiter ist Cain für die weit verbreitete Ansicht verantwortlich, dass diese Regierung immer auf Ereignisse reagiert, diese aber niemals kontrolliert.
Boris war verblüfft über die bloße Opposition von Ministern, Abgeordneten und Beratern gegen die Ernennung Kains.
Dennoch kann er nicht von der Opposition von Carrie überrascht worden sein – Reibereien zwischen ihr und Kain sind nichts Neues. Im Juni letzten Jahres, als Carrie und Boris in ihrem Haus in London einen Streit im Inland hatten, der heimlich aufgezeichnet und an The Guardian weitergegeben wurde, kümmerte sich Cain um die Auswirkungen der Medien.
Aber er war wütend zu erfahren, dass Carrie – oder ihre Freunde – die Sache selbst in die Hand genommen hatten. Der Presse wurde ein Foto zugespielt, das zeigen sollte, dass sich das Paar geküsst und geschminkt hatte.
Es stellte sich jedoch bald heraus, dass der Schuss lange vor der Reihe aufgenommen wurde, was zu schädlicheren Schlagzeilen führte. Die Beziehungen zwischen Symonds und Cain haben sich nie erholt.
Carries Beteiligung wurde erst gestern klar, nachdem Laura Kuenssberg, die politische Redakteurin der BBC, behauptete, da sie gegen die Ernennung sei, "könnte es nicht passieren". Dann twitterte sie: „Zwei Tory-Quellen bestätigen, dass Cain am Wochenende von PM eine Stelle angeboten wurde, nachdem er einige Wochen darüber gesprochen hatte. Die Verlobte des Premierministers, Carrie Symonds, sagte jedoch, sie sei zutiefst unglücklich über den Plan. Nicht klar, was das Ergebnis sein wird. & # 39;
Es war auch Kuenssberg, der die Nachricht verbreitete, dass Munira Mirza und Allegra Stratton ebenfalls gegen Kain waren.
Eine Westminster-Quelle erklärte: „Tut mir leid, wenn das sexistisch klingt, aber die Frauen tauschten Notizen aus, um dies zu töten. Kain hatte gegen diese vier nie eine Chance. & # 39;
Eine einflussreiche Figur, die Cain auf seiner Seite hatte, war Dominic Cummings. Ein ehemaliger Kabinettsminister sagte gestern Abend: „Lee ist zu hundert Prozent eine Kreatur von Dominic Cummings. Wenn er den Job als (Stabschef) bekommen hätte, wäre es mehr Macht für Cummings und mehr vom Chaos des letzten Jahres gewesen. & # 39;
Für viele Westminster-Beobachter wird die hohe Opposition gegen Kain durch die Tatsache unterstrichen, dass Munira Mirza ihre Einwände bekannt gemacht hat.
Mirza, ein langjähriger Boris-Berater aus seiner Zeit als Bürgermeister von London, arbeitet lieber außerhalb des Rampenlichts.
Der in Oldham geborene, in Oxford ausgebildete Akademiker ist eine beliebte Persönlichkeit um Nr. 10. 'Sie hat ein riesiges Gehirn, trägt es aber leicht. Boris hört ihr zu “, so eine Quelle.
Das Aktenfoto zeigt den Führer der konservativen Partei, David Cameron, der in Staffordshire durch Tamworth läuft, gefolgt von Lee Cain, der als Huhn verkleidet für die Zeitung Daily Mirror arbeitet
Warum war sie gegen Kain? "Sie hätte nie gedacht, dass er es schafft", sagte eine andere Quelle.
Priti Patel, der Innenminister, arbeitete eng mit Cain zusammen, als er beim Referendum 2016 Kommunikationsdirektor bei Vote Leave war.
Aber sie ist frustriert über seine ständige Anwesenheit bei ihren "privaten" Treffen mit dem Premierminister.
Und doch scheint es, dass Boris Johnson bereit war, einen Konflikt mit seinem Partner und seinen drei ältesten weiblichen Verbündeten zu riskieren, weil er es nicht ertragen konnte, Kain zu verlieren. "(Boris) betrachtet Lee als seinen Mann auf Erden", sagte ein Verbündeter, bevor Kain aufhörte. Ironischerweise hatte er nur sich selbst die Schuld zu geben, als Cain von Carrie & Co gesehen wurde. Immerhin war es Kain, der Boris angesichts der Opposition der Kabinettsminister überredete, eine Journalistin für die im Fernsehen übertragenen Briefings in der Downing Street zu ernennen.
Seine Freude über Boris 'Zustimmung war von kurzer Dauer, als der Premierminister Allegra Stratton vom Team von Bundeskanzler Rishi Sunak abwarb.
For ultimately, the pair are chalk and cheese. Cain, 38, who sports a heavy morning shadow and likes to relax watching boxing on TV, is a comprehensive school boy from Ormskirk in Merseyside.
Stratton is a fully paid-up member of the metropolitan elite who was educated at Latymer Upper School in London (fees, £21,000 a year) and studied anthropology and archaeology at Cambridge.
The daily Downing St press briefings will launch in January when, according to a former minister: 'Allegra will become a household name and would have eclipsed Lee who would have been toiling behind the scenes. It's why he was threatening to leave.'
Interestingly, while Cain has been mocked for dressing as a chicken to stalk former Tory leader David Cameron in the 2010 election, footage has recently emerged of Stratton also dressed as one, dancing at a high-spirited Westminster party where veteran political pundit Andrew Neil led the conga.
It's a fact of nature that chickens fight to the death to establish a pecking order. And in this particular case there is no doubt of the victor: Carrie and her quartet.
How Boris's bullish state-educated 'Scouser' Lee Cain and his 'lad gang' clashed with Carrie and Tory blue-bloods
He's the state-educated ex-journalist who once dressed as a chicken to chase David Cameron around the country but who went on to be his successor's media supremo.
Lee Cain was a rare everyman figure in the blue-blooded hierarchy of Boris Johnson's No 10 operation before his decision last night to quit as director of communications.
His rise to become one of a limited number of people with the Prime Minister's ear was stark but he was a divisive figure whose brash style saw him make enemies among Tory politics' more well-heeled operators.
Mr Cain, who grew up in Ormskirk, a town in West Lancashire, has developed a reputation as an ardent Brexiteer and helped forge Mr Johnson's tough stance last year which saw him controversially prorogue parliament in an attempt to prevent pro-Remain MPs blocking a no-deal departure.
He was a key member of a coterie of Vote Leave 'lads' installed at the heart of Downing Street when Mr Johnson took power in the summer of 2019.
Having successfully started Britain down the road to leaving the EU by winning the 2016 referendum, the hardcore of the brains behind the Brexiteer organisation fronted by Mr Johnson followed him into No10.
The hardcore of the group was a male quartet; Dominic Cummings, Cain, Oliver Lewis and Rob Oxley, known internally as Dom, Caino, Sonic and Roxstar.
With a game plan of completely shaking up the internal operations of Downing Street, they formed an inner circle that has been accused of throttling access to the Prime Minister and gaining almost total control over the levers of power.
This set them on a collision path with ministers and MPs, as well as other advisers, especially as Brexit and then the coronavirus pandemic threatened to overwhelm the Government.
And eventually they came together to force him out last night. And the Ormskirk Grammar and Stafford University graduate was apparently forced out by a group including Carrie Symonds, Mr Johnson's privately-educated fiancee.
.(tagsToTranslate)dailymail(t)news(t)Dominic Cummings(t)UK Politics(t)Carrie Symonds(t)UK Government News and updates on the British Cabinet(t)Boris Johnson(t)Downing Street