Boris Johnson: Expert discusses resignation petition for PM
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Cleo Watson, who was brought into No 10 by ex-chief advisor to the PM, Dominic Cummings, was sacked by Mr Johnson in 2020. Ms Watson, 33, described the reality of her “fancy” position in Downing Street as one more akin to babysitting.
She wrote in Talter: “My role at No 10 sounds fancy, but a lot of the time I was much closer to being Boris’s nanny.”
Ms Watson pointed specifically to her time in No10 in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, when she would take charge of assessing whether Boris Johnson had Covid symptoms.
She described: “At the start of the pandemic, testing was limited so, like everyone else, the PM regularly had his temperature taken to check for symptoms.
“This was generally done by me, towering over him (with or without heels – I generally found it useful to be physically intimidating in the role of nanny), one hand on a hip, teapot-style, and the other brandishing an oral digital thermometer.
“‘It’s that time again, Prime Minister!’ I’d say.
“Each time, never willing to miss a good slapstick opportunity, he dutifully feigned bending over.”
She then claimed Downing Street staff had to pen in the Prime Minister after he was “pinged” for COVID-19 exposure.
She compared the outgoing PM to “a great unruly golden retriever, howling for attention”.
She said, after discussing Mr Johnson’s dog, Dilyn: “The PM himself was subject to a fair amount of house-training.
“Like many, he was ‘pinged’ a couple of times and insisted on working from his downstairs office while isolating.
“Very soon, this required setting up chairs as barriers in the doorway, as he couldn’t resist stepping over the threshold into our adjoining room to peer over shoulders at what people were working on (invariably in a pair of someone else’s reading glasses he’d found lying around).”
She added: “So the prime ministerial ‘puppy gate’ was created. He’d kneel on the seats, his elbows propped over the top, like a great unruly golden retriever, howling for attention.”
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