Michael Gove has been accused of orchestrating the removing of the Prime Minister’s chief adviser on the Union in an try to retain his place on the coronary heart of Authorities.
A number of Whitehall sources have informed The Telegraph that Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, had masterminded Oliver Lewis’s dramatic departure from Downing Road on Friday after changing into involved he was being sidelined by the Prime Minister.
Mr Lewis, a detailed ally of Dominic Cummings, resigned from his job as head of Quantity 10’s Union Unit after simply two weeks within the put up, following a bitter energy battle with Mr Gove’s supporters that made his place “untenable”, sources claimed.
It’s alleged that Carrie Symonds, the Prime Minister’s fiancee, and Henry Newman, one other Downing Road adviser, accused Mr Lewis of briefing newspapers that Mr Gove’s affect was waning as a result of he had misplaced his duty for managing relations with the EU to Lord Frost.
Each deny that declare, however it’s understood that Mr Johnson did summon Mr Lewis on Thursday to rebuke him for talking to journalists, one thing Mr Lewis denies.
Mr Gove’s transient was decreased this week to Union points and civil service reform after Lord Frost, the architect of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, was appointed as a Cupboard minister for EU issues.
It got here after Mr Lewis changed Luke Graham, a Gove supporter and former Tory MP, as head of the Union Unit a fortnight in the past. Sources mentioned Mr Gove believed Mr Lewis was additionally making an attempt to take away duty for the Authorities’s Union technique from his transient, weakening his function in authorities.
“The people implementing the policy were moving from the Cabinet Office [Mr Gove’s department] to Number 10,” a supply mentioned.
“You’ve got Henry Newman trying to wrest control back. Michael appeared to have his wings clipped a bit by Frost’s movement in, and he appeared to have his wings clipped again two weeks ago with Oliver taking over.”
A unique Whitehall supply mentioned Mr Gove had disagreed with the brand new Union technique designed by Mr Lewis, and had used Mr Newman in Downing Road to dam it by forcing his resignation.
“If you have differing views from Henry Newman and others who are going into Number 10, who are of the same Union view as Michael Gove, you have then got a clash because for Oliver to do his job effectively, he would need to almost overrule Michael,” the supply mentioned.
“If you have got lots of Goveites running Number 10, that becomes more difficult.”
Different sources painted the dispute as a battle between Mr Gove, Ms Symonds and Mr Newman in a single camp, and supporters of Mr Cummings in one other. “Some of the stuff about Carrie was totally unfair and felt quite sexist to me,” a Whitehall supply mentioned.
Mr Newman is a detailed pal of the Prime Minister’s fiancee, and was appointed to Downing Road this week alongside Baroness Finn, Mr Gove’s former girlfriend and one other pal of Ms Symonds.
Mr Lewis is a detailed ally of Dominic Cummings, having labored with him on the Vote Depart marketing campaign.
Remaining officers who supported Mr Cummings in Authorities at the moment are understood to be contemplating their place in expectation that they “could be next”, after Mr Lewis’s resignation and the departure of Mr Cummings and Lee Cain, Mr Johnson’s former director of communications, who had been compelled out on the finish of final yr.
A supply near Mr Gove strongly denied that he had any hand in Mr Lewis’s departure, insisting that he was “shocked” when he heard the information that the advisor had resigned and had not beforehand disagreed with him over Union coverage.
“That is categorically untrue. Michael has not done that at all,” the supply mentioned. “They were working well together.”
A Downing Road supply mentioned: “Michael is an absolutely integral part of the Government and one of the PM’s most trusted ministers.”
Requested whether or not Mr Gove had orchestrated the removing of Mr Lewis, the supply replied: “I don’t recognise that description of the situation.”
Allies of Ms Symonds mentioned she doesn’t attend Authorities conferences or obtain inner Authorities emails, and identified that it’s customary for a Prime Minister’s partner to supply casual recommendation.