EXCL Former spokesman says Theresa May 'hollowed out' by No 10 resignations
Theresa May will be a “hollowed out figure” after the departure of her two key advisers, the Prime Minister’s former spokesman has said.
In an exclusive article for PoliticsHome, Joey Jones, who worked for Mrs May during her tenure at the Home Office, suggested the “humiliated and alone” Prime Minister should resign in light of the general election result.
Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, her joint chiefs of staff, announced their resignations today after calls for them to quit after the Tories lost their overall parliamentary majority.
Mr Jones said the pair could be “unacceptably aggressive” but stressed that they were also “bloody good at their jobs” after a string of Conservative figures made them central targets for the post-election recriminations.
“I do not think people realise how hard it will be for her to operate without her two lieutenants,” he wrote of the Prime Minister's future.
“Theresa May without Nick and Fi will be a hollowed out figure. Already she has no power, she has no authority. Humiliated and alone, she faces the prospect of being held, a prisoner to her Conservative colleagues, a hostage in Downing Street until they tell her it is time to leave.
“Better, surely, to accept now that it’s over.”
Mr Timothy and Ms Hill announced their resignations this lunchtime with messages of support for Mrs May to continue as Prime Minister.
Their departures come after several Tory MPs demanded changes to the No 10 operation, complaining that Mrs May’s top team was inflexible and unwilling to take advice from elsewhere.
Mr Jones – who also revealed he decided to leave Mrs May’s team after a text message from Ms Hill – said that they had “behaved abominably towards some and in many respects deserved what has come their way”.
He argued that Mrs May herself should accept responsibility for the mistakes of her advisers.
He wrote: “Responsibility for the toxic dynamic in Downing Street was not Nick and Fi’s alone – it goes without saying that the Prime Minister herself should have stopped the rot and is now the one most damaged by her failure to act, but if (as seems likely) accusations of bullying are widely circulated, then senior people in the civil service should also ask themselves searching questions.
But he also cautioned against seeing the pair of them as “sweary, boorish, crass caricatures”.
Read Mr Jones's article in full HERE.