Dominic Cummings: Top adviser set to leave Downing Street position by Christmas

PM’s chief aide expected to step down by end of year amid pressure from party

Vincent Wood
Friday 13 November 2020 06:17
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Dominic Cummings ‘set to leave Downing Street by Christmas’

The prime minister’s most senior aide Dominic Cummings is set to leave Downing Street by Christmas, according to reports.

Mr Cummings had already pledged to make himself “largely redundant” by the end of 2020 - however the BBC has said he is expected to leave his position ahead of 25 December, citing a senior government official.

The senior aide, who was instrumental in the victory of the leave campaign during the EU referendum, had faced calls to resign earlier in the year after allegedly breaching coronavirus rules during the nation’s first lockdown.

His position again came into question earlier this week when Lee Cain, who had worked with Mr Cummings on the Vote Leave campaign, resigned from his post just hours after having been tipped to become Mr Johnson’s chief of staff.

But Mr Cummings pushed back on claims he had also offered to step down alongside him - reportedly telling the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg “rumours of me threatening to resign are invented, rumours of me asking others to resign are invented".

Over the course of his time in Downing Street the advisor has garnered critics and adversaries from across Westminster as he works to shakeup the civil service and reform internal operations across Whitehall.

However any ill feeling within the corridors of power became shared with much of the public in May when he was accused of having broken the rules of the government’s first lockdown by driving up the length of the country while sick.

The breach saw a rare public statement from an adviser to the prime minister after he was reported to have travelled from London to Durham while displaying coronavirus symptoms - a journey that included a drive to the town of Barnard Castle which he said was so that he could “test his eyesight”.

He remained in his role amid public outcry and anger from MPs across the political spectrum after Boris Johnson intervened on his behalf - saying that Mr Cummings had “acted responsibly and legally and with integrity ”.

Meanwhile his reforms have continued. His year and a half in Downing Street have seen a slew of resignations from top civil servants - including the head of the civil service and permanent secretaries at the Home Office, Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice and Department for Education.

Despite seeking to revolutionise British politics, in January he wrote that he would step away from his role as the PM’s strategist by the end of the year. In a now notorious appeal for “weirdos and misfits” to join his team, he wrote “we want to improve performance and make me much less important — and within a year largely redundant”.

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