Top Civil Servant Simon Case Said Carrie Johnson Was 'The Secret PM' During Pandemic

"We look like a terrible, tragic joke," he said in WhatsApp messages to Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain.
Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie arrive at the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie arrive at the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Britain’s top civil servant claimed that Boris Johnson’s wife, Carrie, was really running the country at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Simon Case made the remark in WhatsApp exchanges with former No.10 spin doctor Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings, who was Johnson’s chief adviser.

Case, who is still Cabinet Secretary, said the government looked like “a terrible, tragic joke” as it tried to deal with the pandemic.

The bombshell messages, from November 2020, were revealed earlier today at the Covid Inquiry.

Posting in a group comprising of him, Cain and Cummings, Case said: “Am not sure I can cope with today. Might just go home. Matt [Hancock] just called, having spoken to PM.

“According to Matt (so aim off, obvs) PM has asked Matt to work up regional regional circuit breakers for the North (as per Northern Ireland) today - and to bring recommendations. I am going to scream.”

Cain replied: “Sigh. wtf are we talking about.”

Case then said: “Whatever Carrie cares about I guess.”

In a later message, Case said: “I was told that Dom was the secret PM. How wrong they are. I look forward to telling select cttee tomorrow - “oh fuck no, don’t worry about Dom, the real person in charge is Carrie.”

Cummings then replied with a laughter eomji and “so true”.

After Cain said Carrie Johnson “doesn’t know wtf she is talking about”, Case replied: “This govt doesn’t have the credibility needed to be imposing stuff within only days of deciding not to. We look like a terrible tragic joke. If we were going hard, that decision was needed weeks ago. I cannot cope with this.”

Cain then posts an emoji of a shopping trolley, an apparent reference to Boris Johnson, who Cummings has compared to a trolley because they often veer in different directions.

The messages were given to the inquiry by Cummings, who quit the government along with Lee Cain shortly after they were made.

The Covid Inquiry has already heard seen other messages in which Cummings told Boris Johnson the Cabinet Office was “terrifyingly shit”.

Meanwhile, the former PM wrote “bollocks” in capital letters over health guidance about the effects of long Covid.


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