Dominic Cummings calls for ‘weirdos’ to work with him in No.10

PUBLISHED: 08:58 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:58 03 January 2020

Senior Boris Johnson aide Dominic Cummings faces questions over whether he has been breaking government rules to help the Tory election campaign. Photo: Yui Mok / PA

Senior Boris Johnson aide Dominic Cummings faces questions over whether he has been breaking government rules to help the Tory election campaign. Photo: Yui Mok / PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Dominic Cummings has posted a rambling job advert of almost 3,000 words to his personal blog calling for “unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds” to work in Downing Street.

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The former Vote Leave director posted the advert asking people to apply to become special advisers (spads) or other government officials in the form of data scientists, economists, policy experts, project managers, communications experts, researchers and what he called "weirdos and misfits with odd skills".

He also is seeking his personal assistant - a figure who is warned that "You will not have weekday date nights, you will sacrifice many weekends - frankly it will be hard having a boy/girlfriend at all".

By way of compensation, however, he wrote that it will be "interesting" and "if you cut it you will be involved in things at the age of ~21 that most people never see".

The blog post came amid reports that the prime minister is planning "seismic changes" to the civil service.

MORE: 'Seismic' changes to be unleashed on the civil service after Brexit

Cummings said he hopes the recruitment drive will make him "largely redundant" within a year.

He said there are "some profound problems at the core of how the British state makes decisions" and that he currently makes decisions "well outside" his "circle of competence".

With the Tories enjoying an 80-strong majority, there would be "little need to worry about short-term unpopularity" resulting from changes wrought by the staffing overhaul, he said.

Under a subsection on hiring "super-talented weirdos", he wrote that the government needs "some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole".

Cummings' post came after Rachel Wolf, who helped draw up the blueprint of Tory election pledges, said civil servants could be made to take regular exams to prove they are up to their Whitehall jobs.

Under "seismic" changes being planned by Number 10, she also said that civil servants are "woefully unprepared" for sweeping reforms that Boris Johnson is keen to push through.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, told the Press Association that it is unclear how the new recruits would be selected or what their roles would be.

"Civil servants are recruited on merit, not patronage - a critical principle if they are to provide the best impartial advice to ministers," Penman added.

"It would be ironic if, in an attempt to bring in radical new thinking, Cummings was to surround himself with like-minded individuals - recruited for what they believe, not what they can do - and less able to provide the robust advice a minister may need, rather than simply the advice they want."

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