The decay in Downing Street is getting absurd.
In the No 10 garden last year Katie Lam, who worked for the prime minister’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, put down her bag. Johnson’s dog Dilyn cocked his leg over it.
Lam pushed away the dog to protect her possessions, according to well-placed sources that definitely aren’t Cummings.
Carrie Symonds arrived at the scene and remonstrated with Lam. Some blame Lam, some blame Symonds.
Dilyn’s Watergate led to Lam’s departure from Johnson’s inner circle.
Cummings, who did not leak the story to the media, clashed with Johnson when Symonds tried to stop Johnson hosting a Covid crisis meeting.
She wanted Johnson to deal with a newspaper report claiming she wanted to get rid of Dilyn. Symonds was livid at a report, which claimed that she no longer liked the mutt.
Cummings ordered officials to block any calls from Symonds about the dog.
According to sources that aren’t Symonds, Cummings harbours a grudge against Dilyn because the dog once “humped his leg” during an away day at Chequers.
On the other hand, an insider who wasn’t Cummings said, “I was at a meeting where Dilyn darted under the PM’s feet with an old book in its mouth. The PM shouted, ‘God’s sake, I’m going to get another £1,000 repair bill! Someone please shoot that fucking dog!’”
Last week one of the last members of Cummings’ circle was forced out.
Oliver Lewis, nicknamed Sonic for reasons too tedious to mention, quit after he was accused of saying bad things about Michael Gove.
Lewis was in charge of fighting to stop Scottish independence for all of two weeks.
The latest infighting flared after Lord Frost and Lewis were upset by the recent appointment of two key FOCs —Friends of Carrie—to key positions. They are Henry Newman, as a senior adviser, and Simone Finn, as deputy chief of staff and gatekeeper to Johnson.
Lord Frost threatened to resign. So Johnson appointed him to the cabinet as minister responsible for overseeing post-Brexit trading opportunities or something.That pissed off Gove, who lost chunks of his portfolio to Frost.
As it happens both Newman and Finn are former close advisers to Gove.
“Boris has allowed his assassins into the Theatre of Pompey,” said a source who wanted to show off their education with reference to the place where Julius Caesar was killed by senators.
A source who wasn’t Symonds said, “Frost is running out of pals, apart from Boris. The deep state stepped in to make sure that he didn’t get a security job. They rose up and said, ‘Fuck off’. Why would the spooks say No?”
The implication that vetting of Frost by the spy agencies had uncovered something was dismissed as a smear by the same source.
A source who wasn’t Symonds or Cummings or Gove claimed, “Poor Sonic was totally weaponised by Dom. It’s tragic.
“Let’s hope Dom gets a new job soon so he stops his low-grade briefing against a defenceless dog.”
Meanwhile over 120,000 people have died from coronavirus in the last year.
Courts rule against cost of becoming British again
The government has lost a legal bid to continue charging outrageous fees to register children for British citizenship.
Under legislation introduced in 1983, children who are born to non-British parents without settled status do not automatically become British citizens.
Instead they have the right to register for citizenship after ten years, or if their parents get settled status or citizenship.
Families are charged £1,012 to register their children for citizenship, despite the government saying the administration costs of the procedure are £372.
The Home Office uses the remaining £640 profit to fund the system of anti-migrant laws.
The fee has risen from £35 in 1983. It has increased at almost ten times the rate of inflation and has nearly doubled in the last decade alone.
The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens estimates there are about 120,000 children in Britain without citizenship who should have it.
They could then face barriers when it comes to accessing the NHS, renting accommodation, securing a job, going to university or opening a bank account.
Judges last week ruled that ministers had failed to assess the impact of the exorbitant fee on children’s rights.
Lord Justice David Richards added that for some families it was “difficult to see how the fee could be afforded at all”.
In 2019 the High Court ruled that the fee was illegal. It said that there was a “mass of evidence” that it stopped many children from registering.
The Home Office appealed the High Court’s decision that it had failed in its duty to assess the best interests of children when considering the fee, but the court of appeal has now rejected this move.
The government has said it will now review the fees.
Segregating housing to de-risk profits
A developer hoping to build an 11-storey tower on a former library site says it will have to segregate rich and poor tenants to avoid lowering the value of its market-rate flats.
The former Wood Street Library in Walthamstow, east London, is currently being demolished to make way for a new building.
Plans for the new block group cheaper flats into a separate part of the building. These will have separate stairs and lifts.
A spokesperson for developer Haworth Tompkins said that not segregating the flats would “add additional risk in terms of marketability”.
They added, “We have made a tenure-blind residential entrance but felt that we had to de-risk the scheme and have separate cores.”
Asked, if they meant a risk people will not pay as much for a property next door to affordable housing, the spokesperson said that “there is that risk” and that non-segregated communities do “impact values”.
Haworth Tompkins also issued a joint statement with Waltham Forest Council, saying the proposed building ‘will be fully inclusive and will have one single shared residential entrance, with a lobby, cycle stores and a communal garden for use by all residents’.
The two organisations added, ‘"Separate cores are a feature of the vast majority of mixed-tenure developments and are adopted for day-to-day housing management reasons and also to ensure that the service charges, particularly for lift and building services maintenance, are kept proportionate and not passed onto the residents living in the affordable housing."
Johnson’s daft tunnel to get a roundabout
The tunnel Boris Johnson wants to build between Britain and Ireland is to get a giant roundabout under the Isle of Man.
The latest wheeze is for three tunnels heading out from England and Scotland, arriving at a roundabout dubbed “Douglas Junction”, before heading across the rest of the Irish Sea.
According to one aide, “Just as Hitler moved around imaginary armies in the dying days of the Third Reich, so the No 10 policy unit is condemned to keep looking at this idea, which exists primarily in the mind of the PM.” Studies are currently being undertaken by the boss of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy, to find out if the tunnel is possible.
As Troublemaker previously reported, that is unlikely. So Johnson has come up with the idea of having three tunnels.
Things they say
‘The world is being taken over by stealth by the Chinese Communist Party’
Bigot for hire Nigel Farage writes in the Mail that he is worried the Chinese are buying BRITISH public schools
The public were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded’
Judge Martin Chamberlain ruling that health secretary Matt Hancock’s handing out of contracts was unlawful
‘We acted incredibly quickly, some of the paperwork got a little bit delayed’
Hancock explains himself
‘No, I don’t want him to resign’
Labour leader Keir Starmer on Hancock
‘The whole Labour movement is very patriotic’
Starmer defends his strategy to promote flag waving and celebrating being British