The wife of former PM David Cameron spoke out when questioned about claims that Carrie Symonds had too much influence in Number 10 and the “Princess Nut Nut” insults she endured in a whispering campaign. Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour whether the description of Mr Johnson’s wife-to-be was “flagrantly sexist”, she replied: “I think it is. It is very unfair to pick her out as having some kind of undue influence.”
After revealing she considered herself a feminist, she said: “I don’t think she should have that kind of criticism laid at her door. If your husband or partner is the Prime Minister they are quite able to take decisions themselves. They have a huge team of advisers.”
The idea that Carrie outranked Mr Johnson’s team in dishing out advice, was “quite demeaning for the Prime Minister”, said Mrs Cameron, 49.
She added: “I don’t think any partner of the Prime Minister would ever feel that’s the sort of position they’re allowed to be in. I think you’re just trying to do your best.”
In her first solo interview with the BBC, she revealed: “In my case, when I married my husband it wasn’t a role I was expecting to be in and you’re not trained for it.”
She suggested Dennis Thatcher, the loyal spouse of Margaret during her 11 years as PM, had been an influence on her during her time in Number 10.
David Cameron, 54, quit Downing Street in 2016 after backing the losing Remain vote in the Brexit referendum he instigated. Mrs Cameron said that despite calling that controversial poll, neither she nor her husband have been abused in public.
But she did say Britain’s split from the EU had made it difficult to grow her fashion business Cefinn. She said she has supply chain problems caused by “a mixture of Covid and Brexit”.
There were “teething issues, definitely trading with the EU”, she said.
And she added: “If you’re bringing goods into the country from outside the UK, and then trying to sell them back into Europe – that currently is challenging and difficult.”
She urged Mr Johnson to “talk to all the businesses out there who are in a similar position to me, of which there are lots”.
She added: “It is the smaller businesses [affected] because we can’t afford to have warehouses in Europe and that sort of thing.
“I’m sure there are ways of sorting it out.
“It needs to be looked at because otherwise we can’t grow our business [and] if we can’t grow our business, it is frustrating.”
However, she laughed when asked how she would celebrate her 50th birthday in April, pointing out that with the pandemic it might just end up being “a curry with Dave”.
The couple have three children after first son, Ivan, who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy, died aged six.
But Mrs Cameron said she had not struggled with home schooling during the pandemic.
She said: “They are quite able to work on their own online all day so I don’t think it’s been as challenging as it has for some.”