Boris Johnson said he would be 'ludicrous' choice for PM, claims Dominic Cummings

5 July 2021, 14:16 | Updated: 5 July 2021, 14:57

Boris Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings has made new claims about the Prime Minister
Boris Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings has made new claims about the Prime Minister. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson admitted he would be a "ludicrous" choice for Prime Minister, his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings has claimed.

Mr Cummings has revealed details of a conversation he says he had with the Prime Minister in 2016, in his latest attack on Mr Johnson and the Government.

The Vote Leave mastermind used a blog post to claim that he knew Mr Johnson was "unfit to be PM", adding: "We also knew that he knew too, since he'd told us."

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In a Substack blog, which subscribers are required to pay to access, Mr Cummings said the admission was made the day after the EU referendum and shortly after David Cameron quit as prime minister.

He wrote: "On 24 June 2016 in Vote Leave HQ, just after Cameron had resigned, Boris pulled me into the odd little room where the 'campaign within the campaign' was run. What now?

"Boris told me with a laugh, 'Obviously it's ludicrous me being PM - but no more ludicrous than Dave (Cameron) or George, don't you think?'

"I agreed and reminded him of the main elements of the deal we'd agreed with (Michael) Gove about what to do next."

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Mr Cummings left Downing Street in November last year following a furious internal power struggle with the Prime Minister's now wife Carrie.

Following weeks of criticism of Mr Johnson, he wrote that he had been questioned about why he took up the Downing Street role "if you knew Boris was so hopeless" and why he was involved in the 2019 general election.

Mr Cummings said in spring 2019, he and his team had discussed the "pros and cons" of him becoming PM, writing that Mr Johnson's time as foreign secretary was a "severe warning of the dangers ahead".

He said he decided to "roll the dice" and support efforts to get Mr Johnson into Number 10, over fears of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister and the possibility of a second EU referendum.

He added: "If we win the election then he tries to move us out of No 10, we can try to move him out of No 10 - two can play at that game - and we can use reshuffles to move some much more able people into position."

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In the 2016 Tory leadership contest, Mr Johnson ruled himself out after his ally Michael Gove, who was his campaign manager, dramatically quit and made a bid for the leadership himself.

Mr Johnson became Prime Minister in 2019 after winning the Conservative Party leadership race following the resignation of Theresa May, and went on to secure a landslide general election win later that year.

In his lengthy blog post, Mr Cummings also attacked the Prime Minister's wife, claiming that she was often "literally whispering" in Mr Johnson's ear.

He said the Prime Minister's personality changed last year when "Boris-Carrie mode" was created, adding he intended to write more blog posts about the couple's relationship.

"In 2020, a new and very unwelcome version appeared - Boris-Carrie mode - which, like some demonic Russian virus, started overwriting previous Boris versions," he wrote.