Dominic Cummings walked out the back door of Downing Street in November and has now questioned the “competence and integrity” of the Conservative leader.
The open war between Boris Johnson and his former strategist Dominic Cummings threatens to reopen the thunder box within the tories, just when the premier was enjoying its best moment of popularity of the last year thanks to the “impulse” of vaccines (seven points of advantage over Labor Keir Starmer, 43% to 36%, in the latest surveys).
Cummings, the true architect of Brexit, walked out the back door of Downing Street in November and has now questioned the “competence and integrity” of the Conservative leader. On his own blog, Johnson’s former adviser accuses his former boss of acting “in a crazy and totally immoral way” and even calls for the urgent opening of a parliamentary investigation into the government’s actions during the pandemic.
The premier He has avoided getting personally involved in the brawl, although a Downing Street spokesman had to defend him Friday night from Cummings’ allegations that his government had acted. “in line with the codes of conduct and under the advice of the Cabinet Office. “
A minister in his own government, who preferred not to identify himself, told the BBC that Cummings’ revenge was due to his being “frustrated and discredited” following his forced resignation last fall, after four years of close alliance with Johnson, from the Vote Leave campaign to his arrival in Downing Street.
The origin of the dispute between the two old allies has been the publication in the media of the text messages between Boris Johnson and the billionaire James Dyson, the king of vacuum cleaners. In the messages, the premier undertake to achieve tax exemptions for its workers in the manufacture of 10,000 respirators during the Covid crisis.
Downing Street Communications Chief, Jack Doylepointed directly at Cummings as the possible perpetrator of the leak to the press. The former strategist denied the accusations and counterattacked, airing the concern that has existed for months about the existence of a “snitch” within the prime minister’s environment. Cummings has hinted that the source of the leaks may have been the advisor Henry Newman, friend of Johnson’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, indirectly involved in the polemic.
“It is sad to see how the prime minister’s office has fallen far short of the standards of competence and integrity that the country deserves,” wrote Dominic Cummings on his blog. has personally offered to testify in the investigation open to identify the author of the latest leak.
Cummings had remained silent to date following his forced resignation last November, months after the controversy sparked by his more than 300-kilometer trip to Durham during lockdown that sapped Boris Johnson’s credibility and popularity. His resignation was also precipitated by his personal confrontation with Carrie Symonds and by pressure from the moderate sector of the Conservative Party.
In a personal revenge against Symonds, Cummings now highlights role in shadow of Johnson’s girlfriend when trying to finance the renovation of the interior of Downing Street (65,000 euros) with money donated in secret by donors of the party. “I told him I couldn’t help him organize those payments,” recalled Cummings, calling the move “possibly illegal.”
Their direct attack has served to rekindle the internal war within the tories. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, “purged” from the party for his opposition to Brexit, has criticized the Johnson government’s “integrity vacuum” and accused it of having turned Downing Street into “a clique of cronies.”
The ex-premier scandal David cameron -for his efforts before the Johnson Government to try a favorable treatment to the financier Lex Greensill during the Covid crisis – these days has set the backdrop to the new “soap opera” of the tories that threatens to be prolonged like a soap opera in full disarray.
Johnson has meanwhile been left without his chief of strategy and special envoy to the Persian Gulf, Lord Eddie Lister, who announced his resignation on the same Friday. It is unknown if his departure from the Government is linked to the controversy of the last days.