Sunday 18 August 2019

Boris Johnson clutches chicken after reports spin doctor was Tory-taunting bird

Lee Cain donned the Daily Mirror’s chicken costume to mock David Cameron as Conservative leader.

By PA Political Staff

Boris Johnson has been pictured inspecting chickens in a farm on the day it was revealed his spin doctor dressed as the bird to mock Tory colleagues.

The Prime Minister did not shy away from reports that Lee Cain donned the Daily Mirror’s chicken costume to mock David Cameron as Tory leader in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

Instead he clutched a chicken in his hands in the barn full of the birds at Shervington Farm, in Newport, South Wales, on Wednesday.

Former journalist Mr Cain is now at the heart of Mr Johnson’s Downing Street operation – and had to contend with the chicken following around his own boss during the Tory leadership contest.

One former colleague told the Mirror that Mr Cain “attacked the role with real zeal and great passion”.

The unnamed ex-colleague said: “The newsdesk were so impressed with his work he was used on a number of occasions.

“I vividly remember him coming to the newsroom and prancing around still in his full outfit like a rooster.

“It’s hard to believe a man with his past of taunting the cowardly Tories is now such a powerful figure inside Number 10.”

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Minister Nigel Adams said on Twitter: “Pleased to hear the Mirror chicken has flown the coop, abandoned Corbyn’s Labour Party and is now fully behind the PM.”

Mr Cain is not the first former Mirror journalist to become a prime minister’s spin doctor.

The paper’s former political editor Alastair Campbell was a powerful figure during Tony Blair’s time in office.

He was expelled from Labour in May after admitting voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections because of his own party’s stance on Brexit.

He has now said he does not wish to be part of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

It has also been reported that Talk Radio political editor Ross Kempsell will be moving to Number 10 as policy adviser responsible for public sector reform.

Mr Kempsell’s interview with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during which he said the UK would leave the EU by October 31 “do or die, come what may” made headlines during the Conservative leadership race.

PA Media

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