SENIOR Tories sought to deny that the Tory government is breaking apart yesterday, with former Brexit Secretary David Davis congratulating PM Boris Johnson for taking ‘decisive action’ in sacking his senior adviser Dominic Cummings and press secretary Lee Cain.
Davis said Cummings had a ‘very confrontational-style’ which had turned people in Downing Street against him, adding: ‘Lots of my colleagues are hoping for a new relationship with more openness and interaction with Parliament and I am told the cabinet is hoping to get more say, as it were, in events.’
Sir Charles Walker said Tory MPs had felt like they were ‘losing’ the prime minister, and there had been an ‘iron curtain’ around Johnson which stopped MPs seeing him to raise concerns.
He told the BBC the sackings of Cummings and Cain were a sign of Johnson’s ‘determination to rebuild relationships’ and was a chance to address the ‘significant and growing gap’ between Downing Street and the Conservative Party.
Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said that Cummings’ influence had led to ‘a ramshackle operation in the hands of one man’.
It was alleged in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph that Downing Street sources had accused supporters of Dominic Cummings of carrying out ‘vicious and cowardly’ attacks on Johnson’s fiance Carrie Symonds, calling her ‘Princess Nut Nut’.
The newspaper also alleged unnamed Downing Street staff said Johnson is ‘on his way out’ and ‘most don’t think he’ll be here a year from now’.
The newspaper quotes a ‘senior insider’ as claiming that Tory minister Michael Gove sees the current crisis as ‘an opportunity to get Boris out’.
The ‘Princess Nut Nut’ slur reportedly ‘went viral’ over recent days as the extraordinary power struggle between the PM’s fiancee and the Cummings group emerged in public.
There were allegations that Symonds, herself a former government special adviser and Tory Party head of media, had been running a shadow PR operation.
Meanwhile, a growing Tory revolt is underway, with 30 previously loyal Tory MPs joining the anti-lockdown Covid Recovery Group which was formed last Wednesday, taking the total number of anti-Johnson Tory MPs to around 70.