Carrie Symonds was reportedly compared to the baby-voiced tantrum-throwing Elizabeth I from Blackadder as No10’s bitter in-fighting continues.
Boris Johnson’s fiancee is reportedly being painted as a ‘Princess’ and now ‘Queen’ as Downing Street’s power struggle persists.
The working week of ugly mud-slinging came to an end with the PM’s former top sidekick Dominic Cummings leaving Downing Street with a box.
He and spin doctor – and former Mirror Chicken – Lee Cain were said to have been given marching orders directly from the PM after falling from favour, with the blame laid at the feet of Ms Symonds.
An anonymous Tory minister unfavourably compared Ms Symonds, who was herself a former party spin doctor, to Elizabeth 1 from Blackadder, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
“This week we’ve seen who’s queen,” the source is said to have told the newspaper.
The character was played by Miranda Richardson in the comedy as childish and petulant.
He made the comparison in a week in which a series of briefing wars among the Tory party’s upper echelons framed Ms Symonds as having an outsize influence on the PM and his decision to have a new Chief of Staff.
Reports this week claimed Ms Symonds frequently intervened in Mr Johnson’s policy plans, provoking the ire of Downing Street insiders.
She was reportedly described as ‘Princess Nut-Nuts’ by Leave campaign stalwarts miffed at her supposed influence over her husband-to-be.
A friend of Symonds’ told the Sunday Mirror: “She absolutely loathes Dom and despises Lee. When she saw her chance to get rid of them she struck.”
According to the Sunday Times, Ms Symonds favoured Rishi Sunak’s press secretary Allegra Stratton to take control of Mr Johnson’s media image – crediting her in the Chancellor’s emergence as a rising star in the pandemic.
She and ex-Chancellor Home Secretary Sajid Javid were said to be eager to shake off the ‘Brexit bad boys’ faction, and re-shape the PM in the image of his past as London’s centrist Mayor.
Cummings and Cain were summoned to a lunchtime meeting on Friday, and given their marching orders. Earlier in the week Cain had hoped to be appointed to the Chief of Staff role himself, but for a furious reaction from Tory backbenchers.
The departure of the PM’s top aides came amid a frenzy of speculation over who would land the coveted position – which is now up in the air.
But No10’s squabbles have cast a long shadow over a week in which the UK’s coronavirus death rate passed a grim 50,000 milestone.
The side-show drew widespread criticism as England struggles through a second national lockdown and the UK’s Brexit crunch-point looms.