Rees-Mogg lashes out at 'cowardly' briefings against Carrie Symonds
Jacob Rees-Mogg lashes out at ‘cowardly and disgraceful’ briefings against Carrie Symonds as he denies she is ‘manipulating’ the PM
- Carrie Symonds has been at the heart of an extraordinary No10 briefing war
- Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed ‘cowardly’ attacks saying criticism should be of PM
- Vicious power struggle culminated in Dominic Cummings’ departure last week
Jacob Rees-Mogg today waded into the Downing Street briefing war slamming ‘cowardly and disgraceful’ attacks on Carrie Symonds.
The Commons Leader praised the PM’s fiancee as ‘formidably able’ but insisted the idea she was manipulating him was ‘ridiculous’.
The intervention comes after Ms Symonds was seemingly at the heart of an extraordinary power struggling in No10 that saw maverick chief aide Dominic Cummings ousted.
Speaking on his regular ‘Moggcast’ for the ConservativeHome website, Mr Rees-Mogg said the off-record barbs at Ms Symonds were ‘ungentlemanly’ and critics should focus their fire on the PM instead.
Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured) praised Carrie Symonds as ‘formidably able’ but insisted the idea she was manipulating the PM was ‘ridiculous’
Speaking on his regular ‘Moggcast’ for the ConservativeHome website, Mr Rees-Mogg said the off-record barbs at Ms Symonds (pictured with the PM) were ‘ungentlemanly’
Mr Rees-Mogg admitted he was ‘a terrible humbug’ because he had not thought the same way when Tony Blair’s wife was targeted.
‘I am embarrassed to say when this was done to Mrs Blair, I thought it all perfectly fine because it was good political stuff,’ he said.
‘When it is done to Carrie, I think it is disgraceful. And having thought it through, I think it was disgraceful when it was done to Mrs Blair.
‘Inevitably senior politicians have spouses and partners, and those people get attacked when people are too cowardly to attack the principal.’
Mr Rees-Mogg said it was ‘ridiculous’ to claim Mr Johnson is being ‘manipulated’ by anyone.
‘I think people constantly make this mistake about the Prime Minister, they think that he will follow his advisers,’ he said.
‘Actually, the government is run by the Prime Minister, he makes the decisions, they are his policies, people who do not like them should criticise him not his fiancée. Frankly I think it is ungentlemanly.’
Mr Rees-Mogg said he also believed Mr Cumming was ‘formidably able’, but the former Vote Leave mastermind was ‘not a consensus operator’.
He said the perfect example of his skills had been the Brexit referendum, where he was able to mobilise the campaign and help secure a vote to leave the EU.
‘I think the advantages that Dominic brings are willingness to shake things up, and sometimes things get too shaken and that is a problem,’ Mr Rees-Mogg said.
‘It is a bit like a martini, it needs to be shaken to the perfect degree but if too shaken, too much ice melts and it weakens its effect.’
There are claims Ms Symonds has driving Mr Johnson’s bid to ‘reset’ his government, drafting in her own allies and pushing for tougher environment measures.
Mr Rees-Mogg said he also believed Mr Cumming (pictured yesterday) was ‘formidably able’, but the former Vote Leave mastermind was ‘not a consensus operator’
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