One of Boris Johnson’s most senior aides, Lee Cain, has resigned as a result of bitter infighting within Downing Street over his proposed promotion.
One of Boris Johnson’s most senior aides, Lee Cain, has resigned as a result of bitter infighting within Downing Street over his proposed promotion. Cain will leave No 10 at the end of the year.
Lee Cain resigns
Lee Cain announced his resignation as director of communications at Downing Street on Wednesday night after ministers and advisers including the Prime Minister’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds, are said to have disapproved of his planned promotion to chief of staff. Cain has been an adviser to Boris Johnson for a long time, including during his time as foreign secretary and while on the backbenches after his resignation. The pair are close, with Cain staying loyal to Johnson even when the Johnson’s political career looked to be over.
Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s most senior and high-profile adviser, may also leave now having lost one of his best political allies and fellow Leave EU campaigner according to a Downing Street insider. A number of Conservative MPs were delighted at the news. One MP said it was “a chance to get the old Boris back and out of the grip of these people”. Another said MPs would be “over the moon” if Cummings also left.
Cain released a statement saying: “It has been a privilege to work as an adviser for Mr Johnson for the last three years – being part of a team that helped him win the Tory leadership contest, secure the largest Conservative majority for three decades – and it was an honour to be asked to serve as the prime minister’s chief of staff. I would like to thank all the team at No 10 – including the many unsung and incredibly talented civil servants – for their hard work and support during the last 18 months. And most of all I would like to thank the prime minister for his loyalty and leadership. I have no doubt that under his premiership the country will deliver on the promises made in the 2019 election campaign and build back better from the coronavirus pandemic.”
James Slack, the prime minister’s official spokesman and the former political editor of the Daily Mail, will take over from Cain as director of communications. Johnson released a statement an the matter saying: “‘I want to thank Lee for his extraordinary service to the government over the last four years. He has been a true ally and friend and I am very glad that he will remain director of communications until the new year and to help restructure the operation. He will be much missed.”