Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings is expected to leave his government role by the end of the year amid reports that Downing Street has become gripped by a power struggle. Mr Cummings has told the BBC that “rumours of me threatening to resign are invented” after they had released reports that he was preparing to quit alongside communications director Lee Cain who announced his resignation on Wednesday.
However, he has said that his “position hasn’t changed since my January blog” when he wrote that he hoped to make himself “largely redundant” by the end of 2020, due to an increase in government performance and efficiency. The cabinet minister Grant Shapps conducted the government media rounds this morning and said Mr Cummings “will be missed” but did add that he is not surprised when he said: “Advisers do come and go”.
David Lammy has reacted to this news by stating Cummings’ departure is “like rats fleeing a sinking ship”. He also said: “His legacy is one of bullying, deception, hypocrisy and hubris. The super-forecaster who ignored the pandemic. His damage is irreparable”.
Nigel Farage has stated via Twitter: “So the Leavers are leaving Downing Street. Bad news for Brexit as the Tory party goes green”.
These developments have occurred after Mr Cummings’ Vote Leave colleague Lee Cain, had confirmed in his resignation statement that he had been offered a promotion to the key position of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff. This move would have meant that Cain would have been one of only a handful of people in No 10 with direct one-to-one access to Mr Johnson. However, this ran into immediate resistance from Prime Minister Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds, who has clashed in the past with Mr Cummings and was reportedly strongly opposed to the appointment.
Ms Symonds is a former Tory press staffer who has served as a special adviser in previous Tory governments. It is also reported that Allegra Stratton, the former broadcaster brought in to host televised No 10 news conferences from next year, was also said to have objected to the appointment.