Boris Johnson promised to promote the welfare of animals during his first Prime Minister’s speech yesterday.
Many believe the new Conservative leader, who beat former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt in a vote for the position earlier this week, made the pledge under the influence of his 31-year-old girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
Symonds, Former Director of Communications for the Conservatives, describes herself as a ‘conservationist fighting plastic pollution’ in her Twitter bio. She often tweets about the environment and animals.
According to reports, Johnson has been following a plant-based diet, and has lost significant weight doing so.
The Tory politician reportedly told a fellow MP that he is ‘toying with going vegan‘, saying ‘I’m trying it out’, some weeks ago. He added that he lost 12lb in two weeks after ditching meat, eggs, and dairy.
Despite his plant-based diet, Johnson has never shown any interest in animal welfare. He has voiced support for blood sports in the past, including fox hunting. In 2017 he said he supports bullfighting.
But in his speech, he said: “Let’s promote the welfare of animals that has always been so close to the hearts of the British people.”
While many believe Symonds may have inspired the U-turn, ‘sources close to her’ reportedly said she will have no role in policymaking, but will most likely ‘continue to campaign for other causes close to her heart, including pollution’.