Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser Dominic Cummings is reportedly set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year.
Cummings told the BBC that “rumours of me threatening to resign are invented” after speculation that he would follow communications director Lee Cain in leaving Number 10.
However, he said that his “position hasn’t changed since my January blog” when he wrote that he hoped to make himself “largely redundant” by the end of 2020.
The BBC also quoted a Downing Street source as saying Cummings would be “out of government” by Christmas.
It comes just a day after a bitter power struggle in Number 10 led to the resignation of Cain.
Cummings and Cain are close political allies, having worked together since the Brexit campaign. Cummings was said to be unhappy with the way his friend had been treated.
The Telegraph reported an “associate” of Cain as saying the communication chief’s departure was the “beginning of the end for Dom”.
“Lee is the person who has been covering Dom’s flank 24 hours a day and he will soon be gone,” the source told the paper.
Labour’s David Lammy tweeted: “Like rats fleeing a sinking ship. Dominic Cummings has been one of the most malign influences on the British government in modern history. His legacy is one of bullying, deception, hypocrisy and hubris. The super-forecaster who ignored the pandemic. His damage is irreparable.”
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner tweeted: “I have no interest in Dominic Cummings’ apparent ‘legacy’. In the middle of a pandemic he shattered public trust and undermined lockdown & our fight against Covid. His cross-country road trip, long distance eye test, dishonesty & arrogance was an insult to the British people.”
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, posted: “NHS staff are working under immense Covid pressures. Beds are filling up with ill patients. Relatives with a loved one in a care home are desperate to see their relations. And Downing Street is paralysed by the soap opera of these self indulgent spin doctors. It’s pathetic.”