Tory peer Zac Goldsmith hits out at 'sexist' attacks on Carrie Symonds
Tory peer Zac Goldsmith hits out at ‘sexist’ attacks on Carrie Symonds amid claims she is acting as the power behind the throne
Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith yesterday hit out at ‘sexist’ attacks on Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds.
The multi-millionaire Tory peer said ‘fabrications’ about Miss Symonds’s influence in government were being used to ‘pour hate and bile on her’.
In a message on Twitter he said some of the attacks alleging she is the real power behind the throne smacked of ‘1950s sexism’.
Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds are pictured canvassing on the streets of Richmond in South West London in June 2017
He dismissed as ‘rubbish’ an article in The Mail on Sunday claiming that Miss Symonds had ‘pressed for the removal of’ Environment Secretary George Eustice because he was seen as not tough enough on animal welfare issues.
Lord Goldsmith, a close personal friend of Miss Symonds, was handed a peerage and a plum ministerial role by Mr Johnson despite being rejected by the voters in his Richmond Park constituency at the 2019 election.
The PM and Miss Symonds are said to be incensed by a string of revelations about her influence behind the scenes, including claims that she has blocked the appointment of people she dislikes.
No 10 pointed the finger for the leaks last week at Dominic Cummings, who she helped oust from government in a power struggle last year.
Boris Johnson canvassing with Mr Goldsmith in East Sheen in South West London in June 2019
Last night it was claimed Mr Cummings kept audio recordings of key conversations in government.
The former chief adviser is locked in an explosive war of words with Mr Johnson after Downing Street accused him of a string of damaging leaks.
No 10 attempted to rubbish his claims on Friday night, saying it was not true that the Prime Minister had discussed ending a leak inquiry after a friend of his Miss Symonds was identified as the likely suspect.
But an ally of Mr Cummings said the PM’s former chief adviser had taken a treasure trove of material with him when he left Downing Street last year, including audio recordings of discussions with senior ministers and officials.
An article in The Mail on Sunday claimed that Miss Symonds had ‘pressed for the removal of’ Environment Secretary George Eustice (pictured last month) because he was seen as not tough enough on animal welfare issues
‘Dom has stuff on tape,’ the ally said. ‘They are mad to pick a fight with him because he will be able to back up a lot of his claims.
‘He used to tell advisers to record things all the time – discussions with officials. He has also kept a lot of his correspondence.’
A Whitehall source yesterday said officials did not know the full extent of the material Mr Cummings has denied the leaks and has already told MPs that aspects of the Government’s approach to Covid went ‘catastrophically wrong’.
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