Tory MPs are turning on Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings after he was accused of running government by a former minister.
In a letter to the prime minister, sacked transport minister George Freeman claimed he had been given the boot because he “somehow exceeded my brief with new thinking”.
He said: “We won’t unleash enterprise, innovation and regeneration by centralised command and control.”
Cummings had been blamed for the loss of Sajid Javid as chancellor, after Boris Johnson told him to sack all advisers, which led to Javid resigning.
Labour leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer joked that Boris Johnson’s PMQs may as well be renamed DCQs after Cummings because “he actually holds all the power”.
But ministers have denied that it is Cummings in charge of government.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said it “was just not correct”. He explained: “All the prime minister’s advisers, Dominic Cummings included, are there to provide advice”.
Shapps said that Cummings had already lost the battle over HS2 – something he had opposed and wanted scrapped.
He said: “It’s not the case that things necessarily go Dominic Cummings’ way. Take HS2 this last week, a big decision that Dominic will have had views about.”