May aide attacked by other May aide blames Lynton Crosby

Written by David Singleton on 14 June 2017 in Diary

Nick Timothy said he was wrong to listen to ‘campaign consultants’.

Theresa May’s former chief adviser has responded to claims that he screwed up in the general election campaign – by pointing the finger at political strategist Lynton Crosby.

Nick Timothy mocked the Australian election guru for predicting on the eve of the election that the Tories would get a good result.

Writing for The Spectator, he opened his article: "Nobody inside CCHQ was prepared for election night’s 10pm exit poll. Lynton Crosby’s last text to me predicted that we were going to ‘do well’, which according to our expectations would mean a Conservative majority of more than 60."

Timothy went on to take a further swipe at Crosby, known as the Wizard of Oz, without actually naming him.

He said: "It is impossible to call the campaign anything but a failure. Before it began, we envisaged a return to traditional campaigning methods, with daily press conferences to scrutinise Labour and promote our policies. Theresa, never comfortable hogging the limelight, expected to make more use of her ministerial team.

"On the advice of the campaign consultants, and following opinion research that showed Theresa to be far more popular than the party or her colleagues, we eschewed our instincts. We were wrong to do so."

Timothy and May’s other all-powerful aide Fiona Hill lost their jobs in the wake of the botched election that saw the Tories losing 13 seats while Labour gained 30.

The pair left Number 10 after a host of furious Tory MPs blamed them for the party's failure to get a working majority.

Last week, the prime minister’s former communications director Katie Perrior also laid into the pair, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: "We would go into an 8:30 meeting everyday in Theresa May's office and the atmosphere would be great if the chiefs of staff were not there and terrible if the chiefs of staff were there."

And writing for the Times, she slammed Timothy and Hill as “great street fighters but poor political leaders”.

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