Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, co-Chiefs of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May have quit their roles in the wake of a general election result which saw the Conservative Party lose their overall majority.
Thursday’s election, widely predicted to be a decisive victory for the governing Conservative Party, ended instead in a net loss of 13 seats and the loss of overall control of Parliament, while their rivals the Labour Party achieved a net gain of 30.
In an article published on Conservative Home Saturday, Mr Timothy announced that he had quit his role on Friday as news of the loss sunk in, admitting that the result had been a “huge disappointment.”
But he argued that the final tally of seats was not so much of a Conservative loss as it was a Labour gain
“My immediate reaction, however, is this,” he wrote. “The Conservatives won more than 13.6 million votes, which is an historically high number, and more than Tony Blair won in all three of his election victories. The reason for the disappointing result was not the absence of support for Theresa May and the Conservatives but an unexpected surge in support for Labour.”
He also denied that the Party’s deeply unpopular social care policy, dubbed the ‘Dementia Tax’ had been of his making.
“I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care,” he wrote, continuing: “But I would like to make clear that the bizarre media reports about my own role in the policy’s inclusion are wrong: it had been the subject of many months of work within Whitehall, and it was not my personal pet project.
“I chose not to rebut these reports as they were published, as to have done so would have been a distraction for the campaign.”
However, he admitted responsibility for the Party’s manifesto overall, “which I continue to believe is an honest and strong programme for government,” he insisted. The manifesto was widely panned, with former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne slamming it as the “worst in history”.
Fiona Hill’s resignation statement also came via Conservative Home but was considerably shorter, reading simply:
“It’s been a pleasure to serve in government, and a pleasure to work with such an excellent Prime Minister. I have no doubt at all that Theresa May will continue to serve and work hard as Prime Minister – and do it brilliantly.”
According to the BBC the pair were sacked by the Prime Minister following warnings that she would face a leadership challenge on Monday if they remained in place.
Sources inside the Conservative Campaign Headquarters have told The Sun that the pair were “constantly bickering”.
“They were so complacent, they thought they had it in the bag all along,” one insider said.
“They didn’t show anyone the manifesto, so nobody could properly brief it, and we lost control then and there.
“Decisions were taken at the very top and very little ever shared.
“Where was our retail offer? What were we saying to the Jams (Just About Managings)?
“It was all about Brexit, and that’s why we lost.”
Another branded Hill “fickle, contrary, spiteful, pointlessly confrontational, hypocritical and cowardly at heart”, adding: “That has not served the PM well. She is the PM’s Achilles heel.”
An aide to the Prime Minister, who was inside Tory HQ following the results of the election said the mood “was as brutal as you can imagine. Stunned silence, tears. Hot anger”.
The Prime Minister, dubbed the ‘Maybot’ on the campaign trail by junior staff frustrated with her robotic, emotionless performance, was said to be visibly moved as she thanked staff for their work.
“By the time we saw her finally show some emotion in the campaign it was when she fucked it all up.”