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Dominic Cummings will step down after the # 10 collapse


Dominic Cummings will be leaving Downing Street until Christmas after his closest ally was ousted in a power struggle with Boris Johnson's fiancé Carrie Symonds.

The chief assistant was on the verge of collapse since Lee Cain, communications director # 10 left Wednesday night.

Last night he reportedly presented his resignation to the Prime Minister and will leave his role before the new year.

Government sources announced that he announced his intention to resign at a meeting with Mr Johnson yesterday afternoon.

Mr Cummings himself referred BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg to a blog post in January in which he expressed a wish that his job would be "redundant" by the end of the year.

For 16 months he has been pulling the levers of power in the heart of government as Mr. Johnson's chief adviser.

It is understood that his departure and that of his colleague, campaign veteran Mr Cain, will create the conditions for a more coherent policy focusing on green issues, which Mrs Symonds is advocating.

Dominic Cummings (pictured) is leaving Downing Street for the New Year after Lee Cain falls

Boris Johnson initially offered to encourage communication. Lee Cain became chief of staff. But he dropped the plan after his partner Carrie Symonds objected (pictured with Mr. Johnson).

Boris Johnson initially offered to encourage communication. Lee Cain became chief of staff. But he dropped the plan after his partner Carrie Symonds objected (pictured with Mr. Johnson).

Mr. Cain, an ally of Mr. Cummings, resigned yesterday after Mr. Johnson's change of heart. He was Mr. Johnson's communications director

Mr. Cain, an ally of Mr. Cummings, resigned yesterday after Mr. Johnson's change of heart. He was Mr. Johnson's communications director

The network of connections on Downing Street, which was ravaged by factional battles during the coronavirus crisis

The network of connections on Downing Street, which was ravaged by factional battles during the coronavirus crisis

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

Cummings outside Downing Street in one of the outfits that made him an unlikely style icon

TEAM CAIN

Dominic Cummings

Age: 48

Official title: Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister

Boris Johnson's outsider Svengali, who became known nationwide for his trip to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight before a trip to London.

The former director of Vote Leave backed his former campaign agent Lee Cain as chief of staff to the prime minister – which led to 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

Cummings ally Cleo Watson seen outside of No. 10

Cleo Watson

Age: 31

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 number 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 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 earlier this year was accused by EU sources of repeated attempts 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 service in Whitehall on Sunday - has become a force to be reckoned with on Downing Street

Carrie Symonds – seen at a memorial service in Whitehall on Sunday – has become a force to be reckoned with on Downing Street

Carrie Symonds

Age: 32

Official title: N / A

Symonds, Boris Johnson's fiancée and former Conservative Party media chief, has grown into a force to be reckoned with 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.

There was a brutal stalemate before Symonds emerged victorious. Cain announced his resignation and Cummings reportedly was also considering his position.

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

Allegra Stratton is ready to be the face of Boris Johnson's new US-style TV press conference

Allegra Stratton

Age: 39

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 stepped in, 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 member of the 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 political editor of the Spectator.

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 No10's Policy Unit

Munira Mirza is the phenomenally bright head of No10's Policy Unit

Munira Mirza

Age: 42

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.

Before late-night reports of Mr Cummings' resignation surfaced, his allies were already predicting he would prepare to follow Mr Cain out the door after the December 31st Brexit transition period.

"This will loosen Dom's hold on the government and expedite his departure," a source said.

"He wants to get Brexit over the line, overcome the hump of the pandemic and complete one or two of his favorite projects. Once that's done, he won't hang around anymore."

A source close to Mr. Cain had told the Telegraph, “This is the beginning of the end for Dom. Lee is the person who covered Dom's flank 24 hours a day, and he'll be gone soon. & # 39;

Mr. Cummings had urged Mr. Cain to be promoted to chief of staff, but Mrs. Symonds opposed the move.

Mr. Cummings made one last attempt to get another ally, Cleo Watson, to the post, but this was also put down by the Prime Minister, according to Times Radio's Tom Newton Dunn.

It is believed that Mr Johnson has been deeply unimpressed by briefings and backroom plans from the Number 10 Vote Leave Group for the past few days.

He is expected to take advantage of Mr Cummings and Mr Cain's departures to improve his administration's image and repair relations with the outstanding Tory MPs.

The reorganization of his top team will also pave the way for a more "liberal" agenda to be implemented after the pandemic.

A source on Downing Street told The Times that the prime minister was looking forward to "building a liberal, global Britain."

Downing Street had previously denied claims that Mr. Cummings would resign next year as "speculation" – but other high-profile figures close to Mr. Cain remain on "resignation watch," including chief Brexit negotiator David Frost.

A source said last night that although Lord Frost was unhappy with Mr Cain's departure, he would not stop once talks with Brussels entered the final stages.

Tory MPs warned Mr Johnson that the chaos at # 10 is undermining public confidence in the government.

Sir Roger Gale said it was "extraordinary and unacceptable that Downing Street should be distracted by internal squabbles amid a pandemic".

He added: "Honestly, this is a distraction … the Prime Minister needs to get a grip on it."

Other MPs asked Mr. Johnson to drop his special adviser.

One said, “If you get rid of any of the Kray brothers, you have to get rid of Cummings too. To use a familiar phrase, Boris should take back control and be the real Boris that so many of his real friends and supporters believe can be. & # 39;

The Prime Minister was also faced with questions about the role of Miss Symonds on Downing Street.

"The question on everyone's lips is," Who will she be looking for next? "… it looks like executive appointments need to be approved by Carrie now," said an insider.

"This is a dangerous path for the government."

Another adviser said the episode reflected poorly on the prime minister.

"It is disappointing that he failed to return the loyalty of his most loyal lieutenant when it got difficult," they said.

"The question arises – who makes the decisions now?"

Describing the series as “pathetic”, union leader Sir Keir Starmer said, “We are all worried about our health and our families, we are all worried about our jobs … and this lot is arguing behind No. 10. & # 39;

Mr Cain's departure comes following the appointment of a new press secretary as prime minister.

Allegra Stratton will be conducting daily US-style televised media briefings on behalf of Mr. Johnson for the New Year.

Last week, Mr. Cain offered to resign, fearing it would put him out of circulation.

Mr Johnson urged him to keep going after relying on the former tabloid journalist. His previous duties included dressing up as a chicken to follow David Cameron on the campaign.

On Monday evening, the Prime Minister offered Mr. Cain the vacancy of Chief of Staff on Downing Street.

The move was supported by both Mr Cummings and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who argued that Mr Cain had served part of the role for months.

However, news of the appointment was relayed to the Mail – sparking angry backlash from high-profile Tories who feared it would further encourage a faction that despises the role of MPs.

Crucially, it also raised objections from Miss Symonds, who doesn't like Mr. Cain's aggressive style.

She told her fiancé that it was a "mistake" to promote him.

When the news of the behind the scenes series was released, Mr Cain decided his role was untenable.

He will stay in office until the end of the year, when he will be replaced as communications director by former mail journalist James Slack, who is currently Mr Johnson's official spokesperson.

The prime minister is reportedly keen to ditch the aggressive style of the election campaign and hopes to use televised briefings to reset the government's image after a bloody year.

Ministers have been sharply criticized for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has included a series of U-turns in everything from high school graduation to free school lunches.

Mr Cummings himself made headlines in May when he was forced to hold a press conference to justify his decision to drive more than 260 miles to Durham during the first national lockdown.

It comes as Tories predicted yesterday that Cummings might come out of Downing Street next today after an extraordinary public war that threatened to derail Boris Johnson's desperate struggle for coronavirus control.

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 by Tory backers 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 came to work at # 10 this morning as usual, despite having lost the final tug of war for the Prime Minister's ear 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 peer 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.

Workers grabbed the shambolic scenes, saying the No. 10 officials were like "rats in a sack" and behaving "pathetically" as the country tried to weather its worst crisis in generations.

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 to "roll back" 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 position – the allies insisted "basically be what he is doing anyway" – but after "careful consideration" he would leave at the end of the year.

He said, “After careful consideration, I resigned as communications director number 10 tonight and will be leaving the post by 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 team of consultants 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 minister Michael Gove – the former head of Mr Cummings and still a close ally – was challenged in the House of Commons, with which he had 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 necks".

Mr. Wishart asked, "Which side is he on – Doms or Carries?"

Dominic Cummings

Carrie Symonds

Mr Cummings (pictured left today) had urged that his ally be promoted in the face of opposition from the Prime Minister's fiancée, Carrie Symonds (right), who warned that 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

There are also allegations that Allegra Stratton, Downing Street & # 39; s new on-screen press secretary, was against the appointment

How PM's bullish state-trained "scouser" Lee Cain and his "lad gang" clashed with Carrie and her inner circle

He is the state-trained ex-journalist who once dressed up as a chicken to hunt David Cameron across the country but later became his successor's media supremo.

Lee Cain is a rare figure in the blue-blooded hierarchy of Operation # 10 of old Etonian Boris Johnson before he decided to quit as communications director last night.

His rise to a limited number of people by the Prime Minister's ear was tough, but he was a divisive figure whose bold style enabled him to make enemies among the well-heeled Tory politicians.

Mr Cain, who grew up in Ormskirk, a town in West Lancashire near Liverpool, has built a reputation for himself as a passionate Brexiteer over the past year and helped shape Mr Johnson's tough demeanor that led him to controversially proroging parliament to prevent MPs blocking a no-deal departure.

He was a key member of a coterie of Vote Leave boys installed in the heart of Downing Street when Mr Johnson took power in the summer of 2019.

After successfully starting the UK on its way to leaving the EU by winning the referendum in 2016, the hardcore of the minds behind the Brexiteer organization that Mr Johnson faced followed in 10th place.

The group's hardcore was a male quartet; Dominic Cummings, Cain, Oliver Lewis and Rob Oxley, also known as Dom, Caino, Sonic and Roxstar.

With a plan to completely disrupt internal operations on Downing Street, they formed an inner circle that was accused of restricting access to the prime minister and taking almost complete control of the levers of power.

This put them on a collision path with ministers and MPs as well as other advisors, especially when Brexit and then the coronavirus pandemic threatened to overwhelm the government.

And finally they got together to drive him away last night. And the graduate of Ormskirk Grammar and Stafford University was apparently evicted by a group that included Carrie Symonds, Mr. Johnson's privately educated fiancée.

Mr Gove replied: “I am on the side of people from Aberdeen to Aberystwyth who voted to leave the European Union and 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 MEPs 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.

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

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

The promotion of Lee Cain was assisted by Mr Cummings, whose close relationship with Mr Cain has been a source of hostility among Members

The promotion of Lee Cain 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

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

Ex-Tory press chief Amanda Platell asks: "Should the wife of a prime minister really have that much power?"

A few years ago when I was communications director for William Hague, then the Tory opposition leader, he called me and other key advisors for a crisis meeting at his Yorkshire home.

There were twelve of us at the dining table, including Williams' wife Ffion, a highly intelligent civil servant.

But when Ffion gave her views on the crisis, William told her no doubt that, interesting as her intervention was, she had no place at the meeting.

Sexist? No. Just an acknowledgment of a British tradition: when we elect a party leader, we don't also ordain the wife, husband or girlfriend to impart their wisdom about how to run the country.

Fast forward to today and to our Prime Minister's current consort, Carrie Symonds, 32. This week, the glamorous Symonds appear to have intervened in remarkable ways to orchestrate a conspiracy to take down Boris Johnson's communications director Lee Cain and prevent his promotion to chief of staff .

This wasn't a small human resource issue: it hit the crux of who is really responsible for government messaging amid a pandemic – and even who says who is in charge of government themselves.

In many ways, Cain shared the same opinion: As a former Red Top journalist, he is described as a "wheeler dealer" who, along with his mentor, the Prime Minister's chief advisor Dominic Cummings, could at times have a malicious influence on No. 10. sometimes even assume that you are dictating to the boss.

But even if Carrie had been on the right side of the argument over Cain, she shouldn't have had the argument from the start. Put simply, this was a "power grave" led by Carrie with the help of three formidable female accomplices.

The first is former Guardian journalist Allegra Stratton, who has been newly appointed to lead Boris' daily US-style press conference due to be held in January. It is reported that Stratton would not work with Cain and wanted to report directly to the Prime Minister.

Second, Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has long been suspicious of Cain's close ties to the Machiavellian Cummings. (Nobody – except Boris – has much time on Cummings, of course, as he broke the first lockdown to drive 264 miles to visit family and sightseeing at Barnard Castle, including driving to test his eyesight. )

Finally, the little-known but highly respected Munira Mirza, head of Downing Street's political department, who apparently also had concerns about Cain.

That group of women who are taking back control: call it girl power, call it what you really, really want – but don't call it democracy. Make no mistake: Boris's determined fiancée is the prime suspect in this mini-coup at the heart of government.

Against this background we can ask: Who is Carrie Symonds really? What right does she have to determine the direction of politics behind the black door of # 10?

And how, even though she was not elected, is she the most powerful woman in politics today and possibly the most influential “companion” of the Prime Minister in history?

Carrie is officially a Senior Advisor at Oceana, a non-profit organization that protects the oceans. Oceana praises her qualifications as "a graduate of the University of Warwick, where she received first class awards (sic)" and her "passion for the protection of the oceans and marine life".

I'm sure very noble, but that doesn't qualify you to dictate the Downing St-Spin operation. But, apparently, Carrie believes she has the right to pull the strings in government when she worked as the Tory Party's press secretary and was once its communications director, appointed in 2018 and resigning later that year.

Former colleagues she met before she began her relationship with Boris describe her as "wonderfully adorable". Known as "apples" for their adorable dimples, many men were intrigued by their sparkling eyes and those long, blonde locks.

She also knew how to connect with the right people and had the talent to always be in the right place at the right time.

Carrie's boast to her small team at the Tory Central Office at the time was that whatever it took was No10 in her sights.

They assumed she wanted to stand for election or join the Prime Minister's press team. Little did they think the point would be to snatch a Tory guide while he was still married to the mother of four of his children.

The bottom line is whether or not Carrie worked as a Tory spin doctor before moving in with Boris, it certainly isn't right for her to go behind the scenes today and seemingly influence who gets hired and fired while she and the PM live together and raise a child.

Indeed, she seemed to have quietly enjoyed life as a young mother and nursing baby Wilfred for the past few months, just as she presumably nursed Boris through his own life-threatening struggle with the virus.

But behind the scenes, she now seems to have played a key role in triggering Cain's resignation on Wednesday evening after being informed in the media of his alleged "incompetence" and unsuitability for the new role.

No wonder it is whispered that this is her & # 39; Lady Macbeth & # 39; moment: a calculating woman who wants to take control of her husband's fate. What bothers is that, if it is true, it is at odds with what we in Britain expect from the Prime Minister's "plus one".

Denis Thatcher was a wise sounding board for the country's first and longest-serving female prime minister. It was he who gently told the Iron Lady 30 years ago, when the Tory Party forces raged against her, that it was time to go.

And yes, Cherie Blair would step in on her husband's behalf and call women MPs to vote for the dubious war in Iraq that became Tony's undoing. But aside from headlines about supposedly seedy real estate deals, for the most part, Cherie has been seen often but seldom heard.

Sarah Brown spoke at a Labor conference and begged members to support her beleaguered husband, Gordon. That was noble and enough.

Samantha Cameron once visited a refugee camp before realizing the British are not popular with the women of politicians trying to get public support, even when it is worthy of the cause.

However, as of this week, no prime minister's spouse or partner has ever attempted such a direct attack on the machinery of government, or as is claimed, attempted to oust a trusted aide. Now, in the corridors of power, Carrie is a feared woman: the so-called "blonde assassin" who can apparently destroy anyone she sees as an enemy, even if that person happens to be one of her partner's most important allies.

But Carrie broke the assassin's first rule by leaving a trail of evidence pointing to their apparent collusion in his demise. Maybe that was intentional, maybe not.

In doing so, she emasculated our Prime Minister Boris at a time of crisis in the country and at a time when we urgently need strong leadership.

It made him appear weak and further damaged the already shaky trust of the nation in him.

If he is not in control of his own destiny, why should we trust him with ours?

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.

Top 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 transitioning from a campaign operation to an operation 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 is 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 final, and frankly this is a distraction that must not and must not happen, and the Prime Minister must get it under control.

"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 term used 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;

Downing Street insisted that Mr. Johnson remain "totally focused" on the coronavirus pandemic despite the fighting within No. 10 that led to Mr. Cain's resignation.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is fully focused on fighting the coronavirus.

“I think you can see the progress we're making in getting mass testing in place, making vaccines secure, and also improving things like test and trace.

"I think you can see that the Prime Minister is absolutely focused on fighting this virus and taking the necessary steps to bring that R-rate down and get the infection rate back under control."

Depressed if the upheaval among senior executives was a distraction, he said, "You saw the Prime Minister this week that he is absolutely focused on taking all the steps necessary to equip the country against the coronavirus."

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 television 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 over Brexit in 2018, 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 on the election campaign led by Mr Cummings and led by Mr Johnson and Michael Gove.

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 boycotted 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 for being a passionate Brexiteer and has helped shape Mr Johnson's tough stance last year, when he controversially prorossed Parliament to prevent pro-remain MPs from making a no-deal exit To block.

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 get into big trouble.

Carrie Symonds has "the real power in # 10," say body language experts: "The disheveled" Boris Johnson "has no authority," while his fiancée is "by far the most confident" and watches him like a "naughty schoolboy."

By Dan Sales for MailOnline

Carrie Symonds rose to hold "real power in No. 10" while her prime minister fiancé Boris Johnson has become "disheveled and with no sign of dignity or authority".

Analysis of pictures and videos of the couple has shown a shift in authority between the couple, according to body language and relationship experts.

One told MailOnline today, "It's as if the balance of power in their relationship has reversed, which may also affect Boris & # 39; s professional decision-making."

The stunning role shift was exposed last night by a struggle for influence in the heart of Downing Street when Ms. Symonds apparently vetoed and resigned Lee Cain's appointment as chief of staff.

It was a far cry from the impression she had on her previous appearances on Mr. Johnson, when she looked less confident and was being put off on her older partner.

And in July 2019, when she lined up with staff on Downing Street to greet the new Prime Minister, there was little hint of the power she would wield.

However, the couple's most recent video for an awards ceremony revealed that he "kept an eye on him" and showed strength when he looked "like a naughty kid."

His shabby appearance at the recent Memorial Day celebration also rang alarm bells.

Carrie Symonds rose to have "real power in No. 10" while her prime minister fiancé Boris Johnson has become "disheveled and with no sign of dignity or authority," body language experts said. "Carrie's fingers seem to have a strong, determined grip," which was a gesture of possession, while Boris' hand was scratched into "what looks like tension".

Carrie Symonds rose to hold "real power in No. 10" while her prime minister fiancé Boris Johnson has become "disheveled and with no show of dignity or authority," body language experts said. "Carrie's fingers seem to have a strong, determined grip," which was a gesture of possession, while Boris' hand was scratched into "what looks like tension".

Body language expert Judi James said: "Carrie's almost victorious-looking beam with closed lips straight to the camera, which she holds with her eyes, registers increased self-confidence."

Body language expert Judi James said: "Carrie's almost victorious-looking, closed lip beam directly at the camera she is holding with her eyes registers increased self-confidence."

She said that Mr. Johnson's hand "is scratched into what looks like tension" and added that his partial smile "indicates decreased self-confidence".

She said that Mr. Johnson's hand "is scratched into what looks like tension" and added that his partial smile "indicates decreased self-confidence".

According to experts, Boris Johnson looked "disheveled and with no sign of dignity or authority."

Boris Johnson looked "disheveled and with no sign of dignity or authority," experts say

Body language expert Judi James told MailOnline: “Boris sat disheveled and with no sign of dignity or authority. He sat slumped and looked physically awkward in his seat. One hand happened to be on the side of the chair and its toes pointed inward like a little student.

& # 39; His serious demeanor and thoughtful, dejected look were appropriate for the occasion, but he appeared physically uncomfortable with no obvious signs of high status or leadership.

When we dated Carrie a few days earlier, we were probably shown the first body language signals of their status as a couple when she confidently grabbed his arm and he reciprocated by bending his own.

& # 39; Carrie's fingers seem to have a strong, determined grip. This is a gesture of possession while Boris & # 39; Hand is scratched into what looks like tension.

"Boris' partial smile indicates a lower self-confidence, while Carrie's almost victorious-looking, closed lip beam directly at the camera she is holding with her eyes registers increased self-confidence and far safer air than usual."

Behavioral and dating psychologist Jo Hemmings said, “What I find so fascinating about their developing relationship is that Carrie's influence and confidence seem to have grown during their time together, but Boris is much less confident.

"It is as if the balance of power in their relationship has reversed, which may also affect Boris & # 39; professional decision-making."

Carrie Symonds looked "like a slightly infatuated but firm mother", "the stronger of the two".

Carrie Symonds looked "like a slightly infatuated but firm mother", "the stronger of the two".

The video is said to have shown "a strange looking relationship" with "current signals from her".

The video is said to have shown "a strange looking relationship" with "current signals from her".

Ms. Symonds is said to have discarded her "previously reserved, slightly boho look for a bold green dress".

Ms. Symonds is said to have discarded her "previously reserved, slightly boho look for a bold green dress".

The new status quo was made clear in a video filmed two weeks ago for the Pride of Britain Awards.

There Ms. Symonds and Mr. Johnson praised the NHS frontline heroes who saved his life when he signed Covid-19.

But there were a number of scrutinizing looks from her at him as he spoke, as well as a number of unusual exclamations from the Prime Minister declaring "just right" and "right".

Judi said: “She looked at him like a slightly infatuated but firm mother – she looks like the stronger of the two

& # 39; She kept an eye on him that he was the naughty student and she gave him a & # 39; behave yourself & # 39; eye on him.

& # 39; It was an odd looking relationship, but the power signals are definitely coming from her.

“I guess what we get wrong with Carrie because she looks younger than him. I think we underestimate their intellect about politics and maybe their own ambitions and maybe their power in the workplace.

"I think we're used to seeing PM's women smile innocently. With Carrie, the body language shows that she has real power in number 10."

Ms. Hemmings said the video showed Ms. Symonds was feeling uncomfortable and was the culmination of the couple's power change.

She said, “Carrie looks by far the most confident, ditching her previously low-key, slightly boho look for a bold green dress and a pair of sleek necklaces.

She seems to be looking at Boris with a frown that makes him ready to make it through this informal chat without saying anything inappropriate or stumbling. Her more defensive gesture of holding her arm closest to Boris with the other hand also shows that she is not entirely satisfied with this scenario.

& # 39; Boris looks a lot more uncomfortable here and also gives the feeling that this filming just feels uncomfortable for him. He seems to be more deferential to a rather luminous Carrie than the other way around. Seemingly the opposite of the performance dynamics between them about a year ago. & # 39;

The couple clapped their hands enthusiastically as they applauded the key workers, but both looked in different directions for most of the brief appearance

The couple clapped their hands enthusiastically as they applauded the key workers, but both searched in different directions for most of the brief appearance

This was the first time they were seen together since the birth of their son Wilfred and after the Prime Minister was treated for coronavirus

This was the first time they were seen together since the birth of their son Wilfred and after the Prime Minister was treated for coronavirus

At one point Ms. Symond's gaze was completely focused on the gates of Downing Street

At one point Ms. Symond's gaze was completely focused on the gates of Downing Street

In May they reappeared on a similar topic and applauded the key workers for the weekly public gratitude.

This was the first time they were seen together since the birth of their son Wilfred and after the Prime Minister was treated for coronavirus.

They clapped their hands enthusiastically, but both looked in different directions for most of the brief appearance.

Judi said of the moment, & # 39; Our first sightings of Boris and Carrie together after Boris entered # 10 indicated the nature of & # 39; High status alpha males and submissive women 'that we normally see when a royal man first shows up with his future bride or even Donald and Melania when he first took office as president.

"Boris often looked almost unsuspectingly at Carrie who was seen in his entourage, and the only real rituals of togetherness came from Carrie with no return of touch or attempt to hold hands."

Ms. Hemmings said it looked like two completely disconnected people were standing outside.

She added: “The first time they clapped for carers, they were some distance from each other and she barely looked at her fiancée.

Of course she didn't applaud him, but the NHS staff, but I might have expected her to act like they were a united couple clapping together while it looked more like two people in front of that famous black door clap. & # 39;

In her previous appearances, Ms. Symonds was told to dress in the style of a royal woman like Kate.

In her previous appearances, Ms. Symonds was told to dress in the style of a royal woman like Kate.

A body language expert said Boris often barely noticed Carrie earlier this year

A body language expert said Boris often barely noticed Carrie earlier this year

The expert said Ms. Symonds cast a "caring look" but left him in the spotlight.

The expert said Ms. Symonds cast a "caring look" but left him in the spotlight.

Another previous appearance saw the couple on March 9th at a Commonwealth service in Westminster.

Judi said, “Carrie even dressed herself in the style of a royal woman like Kate, with low-key, long dresses with floral prints.

& # 39; At first it looked a bit like she was dwarfed by him with the alpha male on the front lines.

“He basically ignored her and she was the one who tried to contact her. She looked very submissive at first. & # 39;

Ms. Hemmings said the couple looked more like Mr. Johnson was the focus of this earlier outing.

She added, “Carrie looks a little happier and more supportive to Boris, but still keeps a rather nervous and deferential distance from her partner.

"She gives him a caring look, but still clearly lets him stand at the center of events."

An expert said Ms. Symonds looked like a "co-worker" when the Prime Minister arrived

An expert said Ms. Symonds looked like a "co-worker" when the Prime Minister arrived

The body language pro said she had now come to power, adding, "What better way to get away with this and stay under the radar, wearing lots of floral dresses and smiling sweetly?"

The body language pro said she had now come to power, adding, "What better way to get away with this and stay under the radar, wearing lots of floral dresses and smiling sweetly?"

Both experts agree that Ms. Symond's current position as the ostensible kingmaker after Mr. Cain's sudden resignation is a world outside of July last year.

When her partner realized his lifelong dream of becoming Prime Minister, she was dejected from his new role.

Ms. Hemmings said, "Carrie was still wearing her restrained flowery dresses and looked a little overwhelmed, almost alarmed by the way she looked down as she moved down Downing Street."

Judi said she thought the emphasis was firmly on him at the beginning of their relationship when she was caught on camera.

She added, “When Boris triumphantly returned to Downing Street as Prime Minister for the first time after meeting the Queen, he was in the spotlight while Carrie was positioned more as part of the Downing Street staff in the background and in line with others waited members of the Downing Street team instead of greeting Boris on the steps or posing together like most PM partners.

“When you look at these submissive looking behavioral rituals, it's easy to assume that Carrie is the younger, less confident partner who doesn't really play a role in the hierarchy of power.

„Offensichtlich wird jeder in Nr. 10 im Moment wissen, wo die Leichen begraben sind.

„Ich denke, es hat einen großen Kraftschub für sie gegeben. Wie könnte man besser damit durchkommen und unter dem Radar bleiben, viele Blumenkleider tragen und süß lächeln? & # 39;

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Carrie Symonds (t) Brexit (t) Boris Johnson (t) Downing Street