The PM’s wife is said to be an influential figure in the decision-making process, which PM Boris Johnson does. Socially, a wife is the better half of a man, and when they tie the knot, the wife is viewed as an equal partner in the marriage. Even in Christian terms, both a wife and husband become one in the eyes of God and ought to have a 50/50 relationship, though the male is viewed as the head of the house. From this perspective, getting married to a man in a position of power means that the powers are also transferred to the woman in matrimony terms.
PM Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, seems to be making an impact on the governance decisions made by the PM. At the recently held Conservative LGBT+ party conference event in Manchester, she took center stage and shined by exhibiting prowess in her presentation. The PM was sitting down among the audience, watching his wife addressing the people. She told the people that “Boris also wanted me to remind you that, as mayor, he led the Pride parade in a rather fetching pink Stetson.”
Usually, politicians’ wives stay away from the spotlight and tend to be involved in other parallel businesses in fashion or entertainment. Most of them only show up at inauguration events or on commemoration days of national events and are seen beside their spouses. Life outside politics seems attractive to numerous wives of politicians who feel safe away from political drama and are vexed with policies or parliamentary sittings.
But Carrie Johnson is not a newbie to the political arena. Before the wedding, the PM, as his third wife, was involved in background organization under the Conservative headquarters. She once served as the party’s communications director and worked under a series of senior ministers, including Sajid Javid, John Whittingdale, and Lord Zac Goldsmith [Source]. Also, her pool of friends works in established media houses, Downing Street, or other government departments. Analysts view her as a prominent politician who knows her way around drafting policies and has shown interest in “how much influence she has over the prime minister.”
According to the PM’s former adviser Dominic Cummings, Mrs. Johnson is a “crazy girlfriend” who is power-hungry and wanted to be “pulling the strings in Number 10 and had tried to appoint complete clowns to certain key jobs” [Source]. He continued throwing down on her by saying she once distracted the PM from handling the coronavirus pandemic at a select committee hearing. Mrs. Johnson became a serious disturbance as she was “going completely crackers” in relation to a newspaper story about her dog, as noted by Cummings.
However, other political counterparts who worked with Mrs. Johnson defended her against Cummings’s comments and noted that his views were not fair as they degraded her stand-up character. Another one said, “She’s very bright and has always had strongly held views about the environment and animal welfare, which are shared by many voters.”
Her supporters agree that she is informed about certain national issues but does not entirely control the decisions. They argued that “Of course, she and her husband will have conversations, but the idea she’s pulling the strings is ridiculous, it stems from misogyny and jealousy…..Cummings saw her as a threat and declared war on her.”
Some people believe that she has greater influence than what is proposed by her loyal supporters. A former Downing Street Official described her as “savvy, highly political and incredibly forceful.” The official also noted that “She doesn’t wait to be asked her opinion, she makes it clear what she believes, and he listens. MPs complain all the time that Boris changes his mind once he’s spoken to her. They’re completely in love, and he listens to what she says.”
Her serious influence was evidenced by the expensive refurbishment of the Downing Street flat, which saw Johnson quietly allowing her to proceed without intervening. “Her big mistake was the wallpaper. Anyone who’s ever met Boris knows he’s not remotely interested in interior design, and it really damaged him”. Due to this, it was posited that her influence extends beyond dictating décor to be used [Source].
Some people believe that it is good for the PM to have a wife who knows politics to consult on certain issues and get appropriate advice.