Brexit news: Carrie Symonds’ influence has ‘weakened’ Brexit, claims think tank boss | Politics | News


Carrie Symonds urged to ‘push’ PM to fishing deal by expert

Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the pro-Brexit Bow Group, also claimed resentment was “unquestionably” building behind the scenes – while dismissing accusations of sexism as “laughable”. Mr Harris-Quinney was talking days after his organisation demanded a review and inquiry takes place “to determine what Ms Symonds’ role in the governing of the United Kingdom is, and has been to date”.

The move came after Oliver Lewis quit his role heading up a Downing Street unit aimed at defending the Union and thwarting Scottish independence.

A source later claimed his resignation had been triggered by a “b*ing” by the Prime Minister for leaking, allegedly inspired by Ms Symonds, adding: “It’s a complete Carrie takeover.”

Mr Harris Quinney suggested the removal of a succession of advisers had undermined the effort to deliver a clean Brexit, as had the appointment of It comes after two allies of Ms Symonds, Baroness Finn and Henry Newman, as key advisers in No 10.

He claimed: “There is no question that the removal of Dominic Cummings, Lee Cain and Oliver Lewis has dramatically weakened the determination of the Government to get and maintain a full Brexit, and to stay on top of the detail to do that.

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, pictured at Twickenham last year (Image: GETTY)

Carrie Symonds is a former Conservative Party staffer (Image: GETTY)

“I wasn’t happy with the deal even they came up with, but things are only likely to degrade further in their absence.”

Mr Lewis, a veteran of the Vote Leave Brexit campaign under Mr Cummings, had been involved with the Bow Group when at university, said Mr Harris-Quinney.

He added: “He is a man with a very keen eye for detail, and was seen as the key man in scrutinising and understanding the EU’s proposals.

“The EU have very smart people who understand every aspect of law, our Government is now sorely lacking in such people.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak’s ‘cop-out’ tax plan will penalise UK businesses

Flowers are delivered to Number 10 last year after Carrie Symonds gave birth to Wilfred (Image: GETTY)

We didn’t roll back the loony progressive policies of the EU, only to have them re-imposed at national level

Ben Harris-Quinney

“If reports are to be believed, this is due to Carrie Symond’s desire to remove these officials.

“I suspect any Brexit she would push for would be Brexit in name only, featuring a continuation of mass immigration, Thunberg style green policies, and woke nonsense.

“That is so far from the Brexit the public voted for, it shouldn’t be called Brexit at all.

“We didn’t roll back the loony progressive policies of the EU, only to have them re-imposed at national level.”

DON’T MISSLe Pen’s aide lifts lid on Brexit talks: ‘Fishing not on EU agenda’ [ANALYSIS]Brexit LIVE: Play by OUR rules! Ireland orders UK to fall into line [UPDATES]Frexit fury as Brussels halts France’s flagship recovery plans [INSIGHT]

Laura Trott, Tory MP for Sevenoaks, has suggested the attacks are motivated by sexism (Image: GETTY)

Allegra Stratton, the Downing Street press spokeswoman (Image: GETTY)

“I suspect any Brexit she would push for would be Brexit in name only, featuring a continuation of mass immigration, Thunberg style green policies, and woke nonsense.

“That is so far from the Brexit the public voted for, it shouldn’t be called Brexit at all.

“We didn’t roll back the loony progressive policies of the EU, only to have them re-imposed at national level.”

Mr Harris-Quinney said resentment within Westminster was “unquestionably” building.

He claimed: “While it’s very unlikely any Conservative MP will publicly criticise Symonds, due to her personal binding to the PM, behind the scenes they are deeply concerned, and angry.

Carrie Symonds factfile (Image: GETTY)

“The response by Symonds’s allies to our calls have been to call the Bow Group and me sexist. This is laughable and will be strongly challenged by us, but it is however immaterial to the question.

“This isn’t really about the Bow Group, it’s about the sanctity of British democracy, and no names we are called will obscure the fact that the question of what role the Prime Minister’s girlfriend has had in governing the country remains unanswered.”

Speaking in the wake of the Bow Group’s call for an inquiry, Allegra Stratton, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton gave the claims short shrift, saying there would be no official response.

She stressed that Ms Symonds was still on maternity leave, looking after Wilfred, her son with Mr Johnson.

She also insisted it was “incorrect” to say Ms Symonds has a central role in Government.

Boris Johnson factfile (Image: Express)

She added: “The Prime Minister’s fiancee is on maternity leave, she’s raising their son Wilf and shortly she will be taking up a new role at the wildlife charity The Aspinall Foundation.”

Asked whether Mr Johnson felt there was an element of sexism in the allegations against his fiancee, Ms Stratton said: “That’s something I have heard him say.”

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Laura Trott likewise questioned whether some of the hostile briefings against Ms Symonds could be because she is a woman.

The Sevenoaks MP, who worked in the No 10 Policy Unit during David Cameron’s premiership, told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “I used to work with Carrie, she’s an incredibly talented and able person and I think there should be some consideration given about whether some of these things would be said about a man.

“It’s very distasteful and I think it’s incredibly unnecessary.”