December 5, 2020

Dominic Cummings seen for first time since leaving Downing Street – Sky News

https://news.sky.com/story/dominic-cummings-seen-for-first-time-since-leaving-downing-street-12132425

Dominic Cummings has been seen for the first time since leaving Downing Street after leaving his role as the PM’s top adviser.

The former senior adviser came out of the basement of his home in Islington on Saturday afternoon before getting into a waiting car.

He refused to answer questions from journalists outside his home after leaving Number 10 Downing Street on Friday evening carrying a cardboard box of his belongings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box, following reports that he is set to leave his position by the end of the year.

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Dominic Cummings was seen leaving Downing Street with a box of his belongings

The prime minister’s right-hand man dramatically left his role after a power struggle that has rocked the administration ahead of crucial Brexit talks with Brussels before the transition period deadline of 31 December.

Mr Cummings’ fellow Vote Leave veteran Lee Cain resigned as Number 10’s communication chief just hours before the controversial adviser’s departure.

They are both believed to continue to be employed until mid-December but will work from home, with reports suggesting Mr Cummings will be working on mass testing.

The Daily Telegraph reported Mr Cummings was said to have told colleagues Mr Johnson was “indecisive” and that he and Mr Cain relied on Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove for clarity.

Tensions are believed to have been raised further after the prime minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, reportedly showed him “hostile texts” briefing against her that had been forwarded to her.

A number of Conservative backbenchers have urged Number 10 to use this as an opportunity to restore several important values within the party.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Downing Street former special advisor Dominic Cummings (L) and Director of Communications Lee Cain (R) attend British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's press conference at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel on December 4, 2019 in Watford, England. France and the UK signed the Treaty of Dunkirk in 1947 in the aftermath of WW2 cementing a mutual alliance in the event of an attack by Germany or the Soviet Union. The Benelux countries joined the Treaty and in April 1949 expanded further to include North America and Canada followed by Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. This new military alliance became the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The organisation grew with Greece and Turkey becoming members and a re-armed West Germany was permitted in 1955. This encouraged the creation of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact delineating the two sides of the Cold War. This year marks the 70th anniversary of NATO. (Photo by Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Dominic Cummings (L) and Lee Cain (R) both left their Downing Street roles on Friday

Senior Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said it was time to restore “respect, integrity and trust” to the relationship, elements which had been “lacking in recent months”.

Sir Edward Lister, who was deputy mayor of London for policy under Mr Johnson, has been appointed interim chief of staff pending a permanent appointment.

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The prime minister’s official spokesman, James Slack, who will replace Mr Cain in the new year, insisted Mr Johnson would not be distracted by the row.

“What the prime minister and the government are focused upon is taking every possible step to get this country through the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.