Boris Johnson clutches chicken after reports spin doctor was Tory-taunting bird

Boris Johnson has been pictured inspecting chickens in a farm on the day it was revealed his spin doctor dressed as the bird to mock Tory colleagues.

The Prime Minister did not shy away from reports that Lee Cain donned the Daily Mirror’s chicken costume to mock David Cameron as Tory leader in the run-up to the 2010 general election.

Instead he clutched a chicken in his hands in the barn full of the birds at Shervington Farm, in Newport, South Wales, on Wednesday.

The chicken costume being worn during the general election campaign in 2015
The Mirror chicken was on the campaign trail again in 2015, urging David Cameron to take part in TV debates (Chris Radburn/PA)

Former journalist Mr Cain is now at the heart of Mr Johnson’s Downing Street operation – and had to contend with the chicken following around his own boss during the Tory leadership contest.

One former colleague told the Mirror that Mr Cain “attacked the role with real zeal and great passion”.

The unnamed ex-colleague said: “The newsdesk were so impressed with his work he was used on a number of occasions.

Boris Johnson holding a chicken
The Prime Minister and the chicken (Adrian Dennis/PA)

“I vividly remember him coming to the newsroom and prancing around still in his full outfit like a rooster.

“It’s hard to believe a man with his past of taunting the cowardly Tories is now such a powerful figure inside Number 10.”

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Minister Nigel Adams said on Twitter: “Pleased to hear the Mirror chicken has flown the coop, abandoned Corbyn’s Labour Party and is now fully behind the PM.”

Boris Johnson meeting two farmers
The PM also met with farmers (Adrian Dennis/PA)

Mr Cain is not the first former Mirror journalist to become a prime minister’s spin doctor.

The paper’s former political editor Alastair Campbell was a powerful figure during Tony Blair’s time in office.

He was expelled from Labour in May after admitting voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections because of his own party’s stance on Brexit.

He has now said he does not wish to be part of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

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