Luke O’ReillySat, 20 February 2021, 6:38 pm
In particular the think tank want the review to investigate what official meetings she has attended and whether she has given orders to special advisors.
It follows reports in the media of Ms Symonds’ alleged influence over the hiring and firing of Downing Street staffers. Two allies of Ms Symonds, Baroness Finn and Henry Newman, have been appointed as key advisers in Number 10.
The group, which describes itself as the oldest conservative think tank in the world, also wants the inquiry to clarify Ms Symonds’ “position and authority”.
Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group, said Ms Symonds “currently holds no official role in the Conservative Party or the Government, yet consistent reports in the press suggest that Ms Symonds is taking a central role in running the country, without any authority or accountability to do so”.
He added: “She has not been elected, she has not been appointed, she holds no legal or constitutional powers to make decisions relating to who should hold government posts, to be party to privileged information, or to set the policy direction of the country.
“It is therefore urgent that a review and inquiry takes place to determine what Ms Symonds’ role in the governing of the United Kingdom is, and has been to date.
“Failure to clarify Ms Symonds’ position and authority, and to ensure that Ms Symonds is not and cannot take any action in governing the United Kingdom, potentially has huge hazards for the Government, the Conservative Party, and the nation.
“The public take a very dim view of cronyism, democracy in Britain is and must always be sacred, and no one should be involved in running our country without accountability to the people.”
Patrons of the Bow Group include Conservative peers Lord Tebbit and Lord Lamont, as well as MPs John Redwood and Sir Bill Cash and former MP Ann Widdecombe.