No10 faces demands for inquiry into Carrie Symond’s ‘influence in Downing Street’

Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson take part in Clap for Carers

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Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group, claimed any involvement by Ms Symonds was unconstitutional as he argued she was unelected and not tied by a code of conduct. In a scathing assessment of the Prime Minister’s other half, he also argued Ms Symonds had not been properly vetted, was not accountable and had no authority to make decisions on behalf of the Government, citizens, or taxpayers.

Mr Harris-Quinney said: “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.”

Mr Harris-Quinney spoke out barely three months after Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s chief of staff, was forced from his role, with widespread reports alleging former Conservative Party staffer Ms Symonds was behind his dismissal.

He added: “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.”

He warned: “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.”

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The Bow Group is highlighting several high-profile media reports to illustrate its case, including:

  • Ms Symond’s alleged role in approving her friend Nimco Ali to the role of Government Advisor, in receipt of public funds.
  • Ms Symonds alleged role in the removal from the Government of Dominic Cummings, Lee Cain, and Oliver Lewis.
  • Ms Symonds alleged role in the appointments of Allegra Stratton, Henry Newman, and Baroness Finn.
  • Ms Symonds alleged role in the setting and implementation of government policy.

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Nic Conner, Bow Group Research Fellow, who worked alongside Ms Symonds at the Vote Leave Campaign, added: “In light of my experience working with Carrie Symonds, I am deeply concerned that she should have any role in governing the country without authority or accountability.

“It is clear Carrie is acting as more than just the Prime Minister’s private confidante. If reports are true, which I believe they are, then her role in Government is similar to that of the Chief of Staff.”

As such, it was a “serious concern” as given Ms Symonds lack of accountability, Mr Conner said.

He explained: “She does not answer to anyone with legal authority, and cannot be fired or voted out.

“Anyone holding so much unelected power, and who cannot be removed by the public, is an affront to the public.

“It is not only unconstitutional but is damaging to British democracy.

“It is one thing for the significant other of the Prime Minister to offer their opinion, it is quite another for them to be running, or even involved in, the day-to-day business of Downing Street.

“This is a fundamental constitutional question, as well as a matter of national security”.

The inquiry, which the Bow Group says should be “independent of the Government and the Conservative Party”, needed to consider the specific role Ms Symonds plays in Downing Street, details of any Government meeting she had attended, and any orders given by her to Special Advisers and Civil Servants, along other aspects.

Historically the Prime Minister’s spouse has been afforded limited special privileges, the Bow Group points out.

For instance, Samantha Cameron had a taxpayer-funded Special Adviser to assist with her diary.

However, at no point was she ever involved in the business of the Government, either in government hiring or appointments or in policy making. has contacted Number 10 to offer both Ms Symonds and Downing Street the chance to respond.

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