Ms Bower (middle, wearing green) was frustrated under the new regime in Downing Street [Image: AP/Associated Press].

‘Tis the season to turn on Theresa May – if you’re a Tory.

Her chief spokeswoman, Helen Bower, has walked out – allegedly after weeks of feuding with Mrs May’s aides.

She has gone to work for Boris Johnson at the Foreign Office. Mr Johnson has been the subject of strong criticism recently for his own comments which have been … unhelpful?… to the May administration.

Meanwhile Brexit Secretary David Davis’s legal challenge to Mrs May’s so-called “Snooper’s Charter” – the Investigatory Powers Act – has been upheld by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Mr Davis, together with Labour’s Tom Watson, made the challenge while he was still a backbench MP. It means “general and indiscriminate retention” of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal, and only targeted interception of traffic and location data in order to combat serious crime – including terrorism – is justified.

So Mrs May won’t be allowed to look at all our emails after all, it seems.

Some have suggested the ruling may not be hugely inconvenient to Mrs May as the UK is in the process of leaving the EU – but the matter must now go back to this country’s Court of Appeal, for the decision to be enshrined in UK law.

Of course, the fact that the Brexit secretary took Mrs May to an EU court is awkward – but he clearly did the right thing, using the tools that were available to him. The case indicates a failing in the UK’s democracy – a “democratic deficit”, as it were – that only the EU could rectify.

(Supporters of Brexit will recognise the words “democratic deficit” – they are used by these people to describe the way the EU works, so it must be galling to see them used to describe the situation in the UK instead.)

Finally, Mrs May is striking back, with a demand that Deloitte, the firm that revealed the facts about the Tory government’s inadequate provisions for dealing with Brexit, be banned from seeking government contracts for six months – costing the firm around £10 million – in revenge for the admission:

This act means the UK will spend Christmas regarding Mrs May as a vindictive, thin-skinned tyrant who cannot respond properly to justified criticism.

If any reader spots further evidence of Tory government disintegration, please send it in. We could all do with some cheering news.

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