NEARLY every newspaper in Scotland had a report on the UK Government blocking Scotland’s gender reform legislation on its front page on Tuesday.

The bill, which aims to make it easier for transgender people to change their legally recognised sex, has gone from a debate around trans and women’s rights to what Nicola Sturgeon has described as a "direct attack on the institution of the Scottish Parliament".

But while millions of eyes across the UK look to see what will come of the stand-off, a little-known Tory adviser has escaped much of the limelight – despite reports he was behind the UK’s decision to block the bill.

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Dougie Smith has been advising Conservative prime ministers since the days of David Cameron – but not much is known about the influential man allegedly behind the Conservatives' “war on woke” and described by The Times as "the most powerful man in politics you've never heard of".

Who is Dougie Smith?

Born in Scotland, Dougie Smith is a political adviser who has worked with senior Tories and prime ministers for more than a decade.

He has reportedly advised Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.

But despite the high-level jobs, Smith has stayed away from the spotlight, with no social media in sight and hardly a picture to be found.

According to one Tory MP, "it's a myth that he even exists".

According to The Telegraph, he was pivotable during the 2019 General Election.

The newspaper reports Tory MPs find it hard to pinpoint exactly what he does, but that he is a "fixer" and an influential adviser.

%image('16321591', type="article-full", alt="Dougie Smith apparently wields a lot of power in Westminster")

His influence is apparently so big that no Tory candidate gets through and no government minister gets the role without Smith's say-so, according to The Telegraph.

One former ministerial adviser said: ‘If you want a senior job in Government the first question is, “Is Dougie happy with you?” because if you don’t have his support you can forget it.’

He is also said to have been involved in deciding what MPs had taken it too far over the expenses scandal and more recently over the Downing Street wallpaper scandal.

The newspaper added that the adviser uses fear to get his way.

They reported one MP as saying: "Dougie is menacing, there are no two ways about it. His Scottish accent is part of it, and he is the sort of person who will say something slightly menacing and then smile."

The shadow figure also reportedly spent a night in a police cell after threatening to kill a fellow member of his Tory youth group.

Reports also say Smith was privately educated and attended Strathclyde University but never graduated.

What has he done in government?

The ‘war on woke’

%image('12254661', type="article-full", alt="Dougie Smith is said to be behind the UK Government's response to the Colston statue toppling in 2021 ")

The Times reported Smith to have been the architect of the Tory “war on woke” under Boris Johnson.

The newspaper reported that the adviser was the person behind the Boris Johnson administration’s increasing efforts to enter into the culture war.

The strategy is part of a bid to lure working-class red wall voters to the Tories.

Everything from the UK Government’s fight with the English football team over taking the knee to Oliver Dowden defending a cricket player after he was suspended over racist tweets is said to be under the influence of Smith.

Referencing some comments made by Tory MPs around issues of race and gender, one government aide said: “They’re not blowing a dog whistle, it’s a Dougie whistle. We’re all culture warriors now.”

Smith is said to be a key influence on the strategy around social issues such as race and trans rights.

Speaking about Dowden and his alleged decision to take Smith’s advice, one senior Tory said: “He’s identified that one of the ways to get on in this government is to follow Dougie’s agenda on this stuff.”

During his time in the Johnson administration, Smith reported to Johnson’s top adviser at the time, Dominic Cummings, and was involved in plans that saw several high-level aides sacked, according to The Mirror.

Kemi Badenoch

%image('16251110', type="article-full", alt="Kemi Badenoch previously ran, and failed, to become leader of the Conservative Party ")

Smith reportedly pushed for Badenoch to become UK minister for women and equalities due to being outspoken as “anti-woke”.

A Cabinet source previously claimed Smith was acting as a “puppet master” to Badenoch, according to The Guardian.

It was previously reported that Badenoch hired a former GB News and Sun columnist host to advise her on gender and race.

Overthrowing Boris Johnson

%image('16074050', type="article-full", alt="Boris Johnson was forced to leave office following a string of scandals")

Despite pushing the culture war with the former PM, the Mail reported that Smith had threatened Johnson on the phone amid a bid to overthrow him.

A senior source said: "The call was aggressive, threatening, bullying. Boris was totally shaken by the venom in the threat. Smith told Boris to resign and if he refused they would get him anyway. That was February. It took until July but they did get him in the end."

A hidden figure

Questions have been raised around Smith’s official role since he started advising Tory prime ministers.

A Freedom of Information Request was made in 2022 asking what his official role was in government but Downing Street said: “We do not hold official information in relation to your request.”

READ MORE: Who is Alister Jack? The Scottish Secretary blocking Scottish gender bill

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Smith is still an adviser at No 10 – but it’s not clear what his official role is now.

The UK Government has been asked to confirm what Smith’s role is.

And the Mail reports that while he is on the party payroll Smith is nowhere to be seen on the Tory HQ website.

What is he doing now?

%image('16357243', type="article-full", alt="Dougie Smith is reportedly behind the UK Government's decision to block Scotland's gender reform legislation")

According to The Guardian, Smith is behind the UK Government’s response to the Scottish gender legislation.

He has allegedly been tasked with “weaponizing” trans rights in a bid to win votes at the next General Election.

It comes after months of poor polling results for the Tories, with Labour widely tipped to win the next election.

Nigel Farage and Brexit Party ‘inducements’

%image('10361380', type="article-full", alt="Nigel Farage accused Dougie Smith of interfering with his Brexit Party")

Ahead of the 2019 election, Smith was accused by Nigel Farage of approaching Brexit Party figures and offering them “inducements”, such as peerages, in order to step down.

"I have on my desk right now a letter from the Metropolitan Police asking what inducements were given," Farage told LBC. "There are two acts of parliament here that may have been breached."

"They basically tried to on the one hand intimidate and that is by getting a friendly national newspaper to publish the individual personal emails of candidates to say please send them this letter or other words if you choose ... to literally try and get people in a free society to stand down as candidates."

Running swingers’ club for rich people in London

Smith helped run Fever Parties for around five years from 1998, which organised sex parties for up to 50 couples per session for rich people in London.

Questions were raised about his ascension in government after his appointment but the adviser insisted his work in politics and his work in swinging did not “overlap” and that he had ceased doing business in the industry quite some time ago.