The sooner Johnson leaves No.10, the better, Cummings says
Dominic Cummings admitted that he thought Boris Johnson as prime minister was “terrible for the country”, but that he and “a few dozen” supporters sought to use his post as prime minister to their advantage.
The former de facto No.10 chief of staff said he found Mr Johnson to have ‘hopeless’ features after working with him in the 2016 Brexit referendum, but agreed after entering Downing Street three years later to help him.
But Mr Cummings, who left No 10 in the fall after a power struggle, admitted he was now working to end the prime minister’s tenure.
When asked in a BBC interview on Tuesday whether he was seeking to ‘speed up’ Mr Johnson’s departure from Downing Street, he replied: ‘Certainly. The sooner it gets better, that’s for sure.
On the hour-long show, Mr Cummings said he had sought to ‘exploit’ the situation the country found itself in after Mr Johnson took power in 2019.
Mr Cummings, asked if he had agreed to work with Mr Johnson so that he could ‘get him to do what you wanted’, replied: ‘Partly, yes. He didn’t know what he was doing. was doing, but he knew he needed help.
The Vote Leave mastermind added, “I think it’s terrible for the country, but I keep trying to stress, you have to balance the different possibilities.
“From a practical point of view, all of our options were bad, so they were, which is the less bad? The less bad option seemed to be to exploit the current situation to try to get things done and put the country in a better position. “
When asked who was behind the decision to back Mr Johnson on the principle of securing Brexit, he replied: ‘Me and a network of people – some of us who made the Vote Leave campaign, some of us who did other things, maybe a few dozen.
During the show, Mr. Cummings made a series of allegations, including:
– The Prime Minister did not take the threat of the coronavirus “seriously” at the start of the pandemic and that it was a story of “absurd” alarm.
– He had to dissuade Mr Johnson from going to see the Queen in person just days before a nationwide lockdown was ordered in March 2020, warning her that he could give the monarch Covid-19 and kill her.
– Mr Johnson argued in September, as Covid cases rose, that it was mostly older people dying from the virus and that he “isn’t buying all this stuff overwhelmed by the NHS anymore”.
– Mr Johnson fell out with his closest associate because he was “fed up with the media portraying him as some sort of puppet for the Vote Leave team”.
– He helped negotiate a deal between Mr Johnson and Cabinet Minister Michael Gove to become Prime Minister and Chancellor respectively after the Brexit outcome.
Responding to Mr Cummings’ criticism of Mr Johnson’s handling of the pandemic, Downing Street said the Prime Minister had “taken steps to protect life and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice”.
Another revelation Mr Cummings made was that he was considering a coup against Mr Johnson only ‘days’ after the 2019 poll – in which he helped him achieve one of the biggest victories in the general election for decades – due to fears of the leader of the Conservative Party at the time. girlfriend, Carrie Johnson, was trying to oust the Vote Leave staff.
“Even before mid-January, we had meetings at number 10 to say it’s clear Carrie (Johnson) wants to get rid of all of us,” he said.
“At that point, we were already saying that by the summer we will either be all gone from here or we will try to get rid of him and recruit someone else as prime minister. “
He said there had been a “big row” after Ms Johnson, a former Tory communications executive, sought to appoint and fire people “in a way I thought was unethical and not unethical. professional”.
Number 10 said political appointments are “entirely made by the Prime Minister”.
The 49-year-old also accused Mr Johnson of not having a plan for the job and said he “doesn’t know how to be prime minister”, saying his “only agenda” was “to buy more of trains, to buy more buses, to have more bikes and to build the world’s dumbest tunnel to Ireland – that’s it ”.