BORIS Johnson was hit by a furious backlash from powerful Tory women over plans to put his chief spin doctor in charge of running 10 Downing Street.
A vicious Whitehall turf war broke out after a leaked report the Prime Minister wanted to make ex-newspaper man and Vote Leave campaigner Lee Cain his new all powerful Chief of Staff.
But Cabinet ministers and MPs erupted, pointing to “months of communications and PR disasters” like the row with Marcus Rashford and the Lockdown 2 U-turn.
And insiders say a number of female No10 aides including press secretary Allegra Stratton and policy guru Munira Mirza raised their objections about Mr Cain directly with the PM.
And it was even claimed Mr Johnson’s fiancé Carrie Symonds had attacked the idea amid concerns about Mr Cain’s abrasive management skills and pandemic handling.
But allies of the 38 year old Brexit campaigner who has been a longstanding right-hand man to the PM say he is already doing much of the role already.
In a day of vicious backbiting and briefing in Westminster, it was even claimed Mr Cain had threatened to walk out if he was not given new powers.
The row started after Ms Stratton, a former ITV and BBC journalist, was hired last month to be the new face of No10 on TV – against Mr Cain's wishes.
While Dominic Cummings retains his position as Mr Johnson's most powerful political aide, No10 insiders believe someone else is needed to focus on the day to day running of Mr Johnson's operation as Chief of Staff – a role Mr Cummings shunned.
One source said: "Dom has always been big picture and punch ups. But he has no interest and isn't very good at the day to day tedious stuff and the pandemic has made that very clear. Lee has been doing that for the last few months rather than dealing with the media.”
But it was claimed last night that Chief Whip Mark Spencer had been "inundated" with angry MPs opposed to the move.
One cabinet minister told the Sun: "I can't find anyone who thinks this is a good idea. Everyone is going tonto."
And another minister said: "when we've spent the last six months f***ing up the comms how would promoting the comms guy help?"
Asked about the row, Boris Johnson said last night: "I have lots of fantastic members of staff and as soon as there's any further announcements to be made about that you'll be hearing it in due course."
After being pressed on the issue six times, the PM's spokesman said: "I am not commenting on speculation about personnel matters in No10."
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