SNP accuses UK Government of wasting taxpayers' money on advisers fighting each other after Lee Cain resignation

The SNP has accused the UK Government of wasting taxpayers’ money on advisers fighting each other after the Lee Cain resignation.

Lee Cain is out of Downing Street after a 24 hours that also saw him made chief of staff
Lee Cain is out of Downing Street after a 24 hours that also saw him made chief of staff

Boris Johnson’s communications director dramatically resigned last night amid signs of a bitter Downing Street power struggle.

The shock move comes less than 24 hours after it emerged he was being considered for a promotion to become the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

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A key ally of the PM’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, the appointment was seen as the former Vote Leave team tightening their grip on Downing Street.

However, whispers of the move sparked a furious backlash from Tory MPs, staff and even Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds.

After a 24 hours that saw Mr Cain heading for the top job only to be ousted by those he sought to control, the SNP have now criticised the UK Government for being distracted by infighting.

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Lee Cain: No 10 communications chief quits in Downing Street power struggle

SNP Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald MP said: “The UK faces a growing Tory unemployment crisis, a devastating global pandemic, as well as the looming end of the Brexit transition period.

“It is a shameful distraction that senior members of the Tory government are wasting time fighting among themselves - when people’s lives and livelihoods are under threat.

“The fact that Boris Johnson’s most senior political advisers are busy waging a Tory civil war over their highly paid, taxpayer-funded positions, while the UK is hit by the worst health and economic crisis in decades, tells you everything you need to know about this arrogant, incompetent and self-serving Tory government.

“It’s a total shambles. They would be ashamed if they had a shred of decency.”

Despite the ongoing Alex Salmond inquiry, the East Renfrewshire MP claimed there was no in-fighting problems in the SNP.

Ms Oswald explained: “In contrast, Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP Scottish Government is getting on with the job at hand, and tackling coronavirus with the seriousness it deserves.

“It’s no wonder that a growing majority of people in Scotland want nothing more to do with the broken Westminster system.”

In a statement announcing his resignation, Mr Cain last night insisted he was going despite having been offered the chief of staff post.

He said: “After careful consideration I have this evening resigned as No.10 director of communications and will leave the post at the end of the year.

“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.”

The PM thanked him for his efforts, saying Mr Cain will be “much missed”.

He said: “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.”

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