Preserving a low profile as Johnson’s girlfriend for the previous 18 months is one factor. However doing the identical because the Prime Minister’s associate will show tougher.
For by no means in residing reminiscence has a UK prime minister had an single associate whereas in workplace. Downing Avenue advised CNN it didn’t know whether or not Symonds could be transferring into the well-known residence.
These are uncharted waters for the British institution and Symonds’ position shall be largely down to non-public choice. In contrast to US first women, UK first companions don’t have any strictly outlined position.
“It is sort of made up as they go alongside, so it’s totally depending on the character of the actual particular person, stated Professor Tony Travers, director of the Institute of Public Affairs on the London College of Economics.
Travers pointed to the best way former prime minister Tony Blair’s spouse Cherie continued her profession as a barrister and “was very a lot her personal particular person with virtually nothing to do” along with her husband’s job.
In the meantime Theresa Could’s husband Philip stood by her facet as she delivered her last speech as prime minister — “he determined to have a supportive, low profile, and the press just about left it at that,” stated Travers.
A strong political communicator
The brand new Prime Minister can also be uncommon for having a associate who had a political profession — lengthy earlier than she met Johnson. The daughter of Matthew Symonds, a co-founder of the Unbiased newspaper, and the paper’s lawyer Josephine McCaffee, Symonds had a privileged upbringing in southwest London the place she attended a non-public ladies’ faculty.
Symonds studied theater research and artwork historical past on the well-respected College of Warwick, earlier than working as a press officer for the Conservative Celebration in 2010 and rapidly rising up its ranks.
She was a part of the marketing campaign workforce that helped to get Johnson re-elected as mayor of London in 2012.
At 29, Symonds turned the youngest-ever director of communications on the celebration, and analysts say she’s been essential in tidying up Johnson’s famously matted persona throughout the management marketing campaign.
“Since she’s come on the scene he is develop into a a lot trimmer determine, he is misplaced weight, he is had his hair reduce … he is undoubtedly smartened up his look,” stated Caroline Wheeler, deputy political editor on the Sunday Occasions newspaper.
Symonds is a “very established political communicator,” Wheeler added. “She’ll know find out how to maintain him on message.”
All through the management marketing campaign Johnson was “very cautious” about whom he spoke to, stated Wheeler, doing few newspaper interviews and shunning a number of the main TV debates.
“He is been much more disciplined determine and plenty of folks have credited Carrie with that transformation,” Wheeler stated.
Now some analysts consider she could have the PM’s ear on the local weather disaster and animal welfare, a difficulty that Johnson unexpectedly touched on throughout his inaugural speech.
“She’ll affect insurance policies, significantly the surroundings,” stated LBC radio broadcaster and political commentator Iain Dale. Johnson has been “speaking quite a bit about local weather change throughout the marketing campaign,” he stated.
The ‘taxi cab rapist’
Symonds has additionally spoken out about different points necessary to her. Barely out of her teenagers, she spoke publicly about her encounter with John Worboys — recognized within the UK because the “taxi cab rapist” who is believed to have assaulted no less than 100 victims.
At 19, Symonds caught a elevate with Worboys to her residence in west London and throughout the trip he supplied her alcohol — very similar to the opposite spiked drinks he gave his victims. She stated that in consequence, she doesn’t know what occurred afterwards.
Right this moment, Symonds is in British newspapers for various causes.
At 55, Johnson is greater than twenty years older than Symonds, and nonetheless technically married to his ex-wife of 26 years Marina Wheeler, with whom he has 4 youngsters.
The couple separated final yr and experiences of Johnson’s alleged extra-marital affairs — and kids out of wedlock — have lengthy graced the pages of the UK papers.
Johnson has by no means publicly addressed the problem of his extra-marital youngsters. CNN contacted Johnson’s workplace for remark however had not obtained a reply at time of publication.
Given Johnson’s difficult personal life, his relationship with Symonds “has acquired all of the elements for the kind of factor tabloid newspapers love,” stated Travers.
However their relationship can also be a mirrored image of recent Britain, stated Wheeler. “There are lot of people that select to dwell collectively with out being married,” she stated. “And I feel it is necessary that those that are operating the nation, mirror what many individuals on this nation are doing.”
Neighbors recorded Symonds telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat.” Police stated that officers arrived and “spoke to all occupants of the deal with, who have been all secure and effectively.”
“The British press is meant to function on a ‘public curiosity’ foundation,” stated Travers. That means “does the prime minister’s personal life in any means impinge on their capability to do their job?”
With the UK within the grip of its worst political disaster in a long time, Johnson is underneath large strain to ship Brexit by the October 31 deadline. The PM in all probability feels he can do with out the additional give attention to his personal life.