Kay Burley quizzes Tory MP on Carrie Johnson
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Kay Burley spoke with Victoria Atkins and asked the minister about the revelations from former chief aide Dominic Cummings who suggested Carrie Johnson “pulls the strings” in Downing Street and influences the appointment of people to particular roles. Ms Burley asked Ms Atkins whether Mrs Johnson was like “Lady Macbeth” who in the Shakespeare play influences her husband to carry out her own desires. However, Ms Atkins appeared offended at the comparison as the pair went back and forth on the allegations.
Speaking on Sky News, Ms Burley spoke with the Tory minister about immigration and violence against women but used her time with the politician to address the claims against Carrie Johnson.
BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg spoke with Mr Cummings on Tuesday during a special BBC interview where the former aide discussed his time in office.
Ms Burley looked at the interview and asked: “Let’s stick with this subject of women, how powerful is Carrie Johnson.
“A supportive spouse, as some would say or a shadowy Lady Macbeth figure as she was seen yesterday – running the country while her husband doesn’t know how to do it.”
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Ms Atkins strongly disagreed with the comparison and replied: “I think Mrs Johnson is married to the Prime Minister and she’s a person in her own right.
“I feel very uncomfortable when some people delve into description, such as what you’ve just used.
“She’s a professional woman in her own right, she happens to be married to the Prime Minister and I think we should just get on with the job of being married to the Prime Minister.
Ms Burley quipped if the job involved running the country as was alleged by Mr Cummings.
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Ms Atkins answered: “No10 has been clear that some of the allegations that were made in last night’s interview that political appointments were a matter solely for the Prime Minister.”
The minister also pointed out whether people would be attacking Mrs Johnson in such a way if she was instead a man and looked at former Prime Minister Theresa May and how her husband avoided scrutiny.
Ms Atkins said she would allow people to decide for themselves if they agreed with her.
Mr Cummings also claimed in his BBC interview that he and other aides were planning to oust Boris Johnson following the landslide 2019 election victory as they believed he was unfit for office.
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He claimed Mrs Johnson also attempted to appoint “clowns” to positions of power.
The former aide also said anyone who supported Brexit has “a screw loose” but ultimately said it was a good thing that it happened.
Following his departure in November 2020, Mr Cummings has repeatedly attacked Boris Johnson and the Government’s handling of the pandemic.
Mr Cummings leaked Whatsapp messages which saw the PM call the former Health Secretary Matt Hancock “hopeless”.
He also suggested there were several reasons and cases for why Mr Hancock should have been sacked while he was in office.
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