The Bow Group – Britain’s oldest conservative think-tank – has called for an inquiry into the “unelected power” of Boris Johnson’s secularist, feminist, climate change-alarmist fiancée, Carrie Symonds.
“Symonds appears to enjoy huge influence in the hiring and firing of No 10 staff and in policy making, the Bow Group says, despite having no formal role,” the group claimed, pointing to a plethora of evidence of Symonds’s unwarranted influence of British foreign and domestic policy.
The Bow Group states:
As the Prime Minister’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds has been able to take up residency in Downing Street (flat of 11 Downing Street) and Chequers Court. She holds no official role in government and is both unelected and unaccountable.
Constitutionally she does not have any right to be involved in the running of the Government of the United Kingdom.
Historically the spouse of the Prime Minister has been granted limited special privileges. For example, Samantha Cameron had a taxpayer-funded Special Adviser to assist with her diary. At no point however was Mrs Cameron involved in the business of the Government, either in government hiring or appointments or in policy making.
Even if Ms Symonds was the spouse of the Prime Minister, the Spouse of the Prime Minister has no official role within Government, and should not be involved in the running of the country, or the internal affairs of Downing Street.
They claim Symonds is not accountable, tied by a code of conduct, vetted, elected, nor appointed as every other policy-making staffer in the UK government.
The Bow Group listed the following incidents as warranting investigation:
Ms Symond’s role in approving her friend Nimco Ali to the role of Government Advisor, in receipt of public funds;
Ms Symonds role in the removal from the Government of Dominic Cummings, Lee Cain, and Oliver Lewis;
Ms Symonds role in the appointments of Allegra Stratton, Henry Newman, and Baroness Finn;
Ms Symonds role in the setting and implementation of government policy.
The inquiry must be independent of the government and the Conservative Party, the group claimed, stating their belief that the inquiry should look into:
The specific role Ms Symonds plays in Downing Street;
Details of any government meetings attended by Ms Symonds;
Any orders given by Ms Symonds to Special Advisers and Civil Servants – even minor;
All communication between Ms Symonds and Government Advisers must be examined – particularly between Henry Newman; Allegra Stratton; Nimco Ali; Baroness Finn;
All communication between Ms Symonds and members of the press relating to the privileged business of the UK Government and internal affairs of Downing Street;
The possible interference and influence Ms Symonds has had in government hiring and appointments;
The possible interference and influence Ms Symonds has had in the policy and communication strategy of the government;
Ms Symonds employment history and previous actions when formally employed by the Conservative Party, and how they relate to the government.
Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group said: “Even when she held an official role with the Conservative Party I warned of the pernicious influence of Ms Symonds in UK politics, her links to what became the “Tatler Tory” scandal, and reported behaviour which was unacceptable for any individual, let alone those anywhere near government.
“She currently holds no official role in the Conservative Party or the Government, yet consistent reports in the press suggest that Ms Symonds is taking a central role in running the country, without any authority or accountability to do so.
“She has not been elected, she has not been appointed, she holds no legal or constitutional powers to make decisions relating to who should hold government posts, to be party to privileged information, or to set the policy direction of the country.
It is therefore urgent that a review and inquiry takes place to determine what Ms Symond’s role in the governing of the United Kingdom is, and has been to date.
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.
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.”