Carrie Symonds and Dominic Cummings 'at war over Cabinet reshuffle'

10 February 2020, 11:07

Carrie Symonds and Dominic Cummings are said to be at war over a Cabinet reshuffle
Carrie Symonds and Dominic Cummings are said to be at war over a Cabinet reshuffle. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson's girlfriend and key advisor are at loggerheads over a Cabinet reshuffle, it has been reported.

Both Carrie Symonds and Dominic Cummings are said to have their favourites for key positions in Number 10 - but their idea of who should hold those positions are vastly different.

The Daily Mail reports the row erupted after Mr Cummings told Boris Johson to fire Chancellor Sajid Javid and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, both of whom have a close relationship with Ms Symonds.

It is so far understood that the Prime Minister has refused to fire Mr Javid, but it is so far unknown what will happen with Mr Wallace's position.

A Treasury source told the newspaper: "There was always a risk that Carrie and Dom were going to fall out and that the PM would get caught in the crossfire.

Cummings is understood to want Chancellor Sajid Javid out of the job
Cummings is understood to want Chancellor Sajid Javid out of the job. Picture: PA

"Dom is trying to run the Government the same way he won the referendum campaign. He doesn’t care who he insults if it makes the Government more effective.

"Carrie is just as determined and is very loyal to her friends."

Ms Symonds began working in the Conservative Party as a press officer, before eventually becoming director of communications in 2017.

During her time with the party, she built friendships with a number of key Tories, including Mr Javid and former MP Zac Goldsmith - who has since been given a peerage.

Mr Cummings also has an extensive history within the Conservative Party, and previously acted as a senior advisor to Michael Gove when he was Education Secretary.

Ms Symonds pictured with Mr Johnson after the election
Ms Symonds pictured with Mr Johnson after the election. Picture: PA

But since the General Election at the end of 2019, Mr Cummings has faced criticism for his treatment of journalists who he sees as hostile towards the Government.

Earlier this month, he sparked a revolt by Westminster journalists after banning a group from attending a political meeting.

He is also understood to have banned special advisors to ministers from having lunch with journalists over fears of leaks.

This has supposedly been a source of tension between Ms Symonds and Mr Cummings, as the latter has a number of journalist connections from her time as a press officer.

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