Britain’s oldest conservative think tank is calling for a government inquiry and a judicial review to investigate the power and influence wielded by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds.
The Bow Group, founded in 1951 — the year Winston Churchill would be re-elected as Prime Minister — raised concerns about the fact that Miss Symonds “holds no official role in government and is both unelected and unaccountable” but reputed to wield huge influence within the Johnson administration.
The comments come among others emerging from increasingly concerned government supporters. The UK’s newspaper of record The Times reports Monday the Prime Minister has been urged to “get a grip” on the situation within Downing Street, citing “bemusement” among top Tories at goings-on.
The paper cited an unnamed MP demanding order be restored at the top of government, who is reported to have said: “Even cabinet ministers don’t really know what’s going on in there… The critical thing is that this doesn’t feed through into the really serious things the government needs to get a grip on in the next few months.”
Former May-era chief of staff Lord Barwell said: “I find this deeply depressing…Working at the heart of government is a privilege, not a chance to play student politics. The only person who can stop this factionalism is the PM.”
Issues raised about the expanding role of the Prime Minister’s fiancée by the Bow Group think tank in a statement seen by Breitbart London include:
Miss Symonds’ role in approving her friend Nimco Ali to the role of Government Advisor, in receipt of public funds.
Miss Symonds’ role in the removal from the Government of Dominic Cummings, Lee Cain, and Oliver Lewis.
Miss Symonds’ role in the appointments of Allegra Stratton, Henry Newman, and Baroness Finn.
Miss Symonds’ role in the setting and implementation of government policy.
“Even the seemingly trivial actions of instructing a taxpayer-funded photographer is unlikely to have any basis in law,” the group stressed, insisting that Miss Symonds was unlike a Special Advsiser (SpAd) insofar as “SpAds are accountable to a Minister; Ministers to the Prime Minister; the Prime Minister to the nation.”
“Failure to clarify Ms Symonds’ position and authority, and to ensure that Ms Symonds is not and cannot take any action in governing the United Kingdom, potentially has huge hazards for the Government, the Conservative Party, and the nation,” warned Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney.
“The public take a very dim view of cronyism, democracy in Britain is and must always be sacred, and no one should be involved in running our country without accountability to the people,” he insisted.
The Bow Group calls for a Judicial Review & Inquiry into the role of the Prime Minister's girlfriend #CarrieSymonds in the Government of the United Kingdom
Symonds is unelected, unappointed, & unaccountable. She has no constitutional powers to hold any role in governing the UK. pic.twitter.com/8KahT1zC2O
— Bow Group (@bowgroup) February 20, 2021
A defence of Miss Symonds has already been launched in the Tory-friendly press, with the Mail on Sunday publishing a “passionate riposte” to the “sexist old dinosaurs” — Mr Harris-Quinney is in fact fairly close in age to the 32-year-old Symonds — who are “afraid of intelligent women”.
“Carrie’s crime, is quite clear – she got in the way of the Brexit Boys who thought they could have it all their way,” declared Katie Hind, who “knows and admires” the Prime Minister’s partner, in reference to Dominic Cummings and the other aforementioned advisers.
“[L]ike Cummings and his acolytes, Harris-Quinney seemingly can’t bear the idea that he doesn’t have any power either, so he’s gone after the pretty blonde with a penchant for a colourful, nice frock,” Hind said of the Bow Group chairman, adding: “These are misogynistic Tory men who are afraid of clever women, fearful of those who are successful in whichever field they happen to be in.”
Mr Harris-Quinney, in extended comments to Breitbart London, said that “Accusations that questioning Ms Symonds role in government constitutes sexism are ludicrous.”
“In the entirety of our history there has never been a significant other of the Prime Minister that has even come close to having interfered in government to the extent Ms Symonds is reported to have, and she has only been in Downing Street for a year and a half,” he noted, adding: “It is quite extraordinary that someone reported to be involved in such significant government decision making does not even have [a] basic level of accountability, indeed people that work in Starbucks are more accountable to the law.”
“The response from Downing Street thus far has been to attack and attempt to smear the Bow Group and I, which is a Symonds’ hallmark, but no one has yet addressed the question at hand,” he said.
“I suspect because there is absolutely no legal or constitutional defence for the Prime Minister’s girlfriend to be involved in running the country.”
Mr Harris-Quinney was also clear that the Bow Group “has always celebrated strong women”, highlighting in particular the example of Margaret Thatcher, “who in 1979 became the democratically elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, rather than someone attempting to run the country based on who she was dating.”
“Such a thing seems to be a throwback to medieval politics, rather than evidence of a forward-looking modern democracy.”
Bow Group: Leavers Pretending Boris Got a Good Deal Are Kidding Themselves https://t.co/LkegGLYPMf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 31, 2020
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