The curious case of Dougie Smith

Who’s paying Mr Smith to do what?

It’s never the crime that gets them, it’s always the cover-up. That’s the saying in politics, and while there’s no hint whatsoever of any misdemeanour associated with Douglas “Dougie” Smith, there is certainly a growing whiff of intrigue hanging around Boris Johnson’s senior aide. Today at lobby, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson said Mr Smith was a Special Advisor who reported to the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff. But when asked why he hadn’t been on the official list of Special Advisors as of 2020 there was no immediate answer. It seems he had a desk in No.10 and was part of the set-up but appears not to have been on the books. I’ve heard he is being paid by CCHQ. Certainly no one got selected as a Tory candidate for the 2019 general election without their name first going in front of “Dougie.” A fact the 1922 Committee Exec having been indifferent to are definitely becoming more and more interested about.

We’re more interested in why Tortoise claimed Mr Smith went to university

But some other basic facts appear to be being kept secret too. A long-read on the Tortoise website — which revealed that nobody even knows his true age — said he was a St Andrews graduate but when we asked St Andrews if he had attended the university, they were curiously evasive. Even suggesting to us that if we wanted to know where Mr Smith went to university, we should ask No 10 and not St Andrews.

For the incestuous bubble record, we’re more interested in why Tortoise claimed Mr Smith went to university there than we are in whether he in fact did or did not. Our questions sufficiently upset St Andrews that they went from being a simple press office inquiry to being something they were “not able to answer … in the affirmative or negative” but that henceforth our question would be treated as a Freedom of Information request. No doubt simple human error explains much here, and soon both No 10 and St Andrews will be able to tell both us and Tortoise whether in fact Mr Smith went to, let alone graduated from, Scotland’s oldest university.

Of course, it’s entirely probable that this apparent secrecy, to do with who pays Mr Smith, and what they pay him to do, is just a coincidence. Perhaps the sometime sex party business organiser just values his privacy. We can be sure that soon the mystery of Mr Smith will be satisfied with the same sort of pleasure a paying Fever Party customer felt. Like most things in middle age, I am told, time, persistence and ideally some money are key.


Sources say Mr Smith attended Strathclyde university and not St Andrews at all

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