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James O’Brien caller suggests Dominic Cummings is leaving No 10 because Covid-19 ‘ruined his plans’

James O'Brien on LBC radio - Credit: LBC

A radio caller has said he thinks Dominic Cummings is leaving Downing Street because his plans to reform Westminster had been ‘ruined’ by the coronavirus.

Dan from Warwick suggested Cummings had quit because of a lack of funding to support radical reforms to the way government and public services function.



The prime minister most senior adviser confirmed on Thursday that he would be leaving Downing Street by Christmas.

The announcement came a matter of hours after fellow Vote Leave campaigner Lee Cain resigned as No 10’s director of communications after being overlooked for the role of chief of staff.

Touching on Cummings’ announcement, Dan said: “He has realised that coronavirus has ripped up his plans for his grand funfair of reforming government and public service.

“He realises that, when January hits, there is no wriggle room for any rabbits out of the hat to offset the economic downturn because Covid has already wiped out the purse strings to allow us to do that.”

Notching up his attack on Cummings, Dan added: “We talk of single-use plastic. I would refer to him as single-use intelligence.

“He uses just enough intelligence and he reads just enough for something that he says or something that wants to do to carry some weight.

“But there’s not enough there for him to be scrutinised, which is why being in the position he was perfect because he didn’t need to be scrutinised.”

Discussing why Johnson had been so “enthralled” by Cummings, Dan surmised: “I think he probably just tried to ride off the back of what Cummings was trying to do.

“They got over the line with the [EU] referendum. Johnson didn’t expect that [and] thought ‘well I’m in bed with him now, I’ve got to see this through’.”

This comes after Guardian columnist George Monbiot said Cummings and Cain were walking away from Downing Street because they had achieved their goal of “deregulation dystopia”.

He said: “Their job is done. Lee Cain will resign at the end of this year and Dominic Cummings possibly the same having steered through the Brexit transition period almost certainly with no deal, which is certainly what they wanted.

“They will bequeath to us the deregulatory dystopia that they see as Nirvana so for them it’s mission accomplished. Job done.”

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