Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Former special adviser tells LBC 'writing has been on the wall for a while' for Cummings
13 November 2020, 18:10
A former special advisor has told LBC that the 'writing has been on the wall for a while' for Dominic Cummings, who quit his Number 10 position on Friday.
Author and former advisor Peter Cardwell told LBC: "Power drains away very quickly and once you announce you’re going it’s not a bad idea to just go to let the next person get in.
"Boris Johnson needs to appoint a new chief of staff very quickly, someone very different who really understand the Conservative party and can reach out to back benchers who feel left behind at the moment."
It comes as it was announced that Boris Johnson's adviser Dominic Cummings has quit Number 10 with immediate effect.
Mr Cummings previously said that "rumours of me threatening to resign are invented" after speculation that he would follow communications director Lee Cain in leaving No 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.
Mr Cardwell continued: "The Prime Minister's special advisor should have been a member of the Conservative party, I think it’s a shame he wasn’t.
"His brand of Conservatism was just all about Brexit and data."
Asked whether Boris Johnson will be "pleased or panicked" by the announcement, Mr Cardwell said: "I dont think there will be panic at all.
"There has been disarray in Number 10 and now they can get back to discussing what people want them to discuss, coronavirus.
"This past week has been a real distraction from governing the country Boris won’t be in a panic but he needs to take a long think about who he wants to have as his chief of staff."
Pushed by Andrew Castle on whether this will be a surprise for the PM, Mr Cardwell said: "It’s been brewing for a couple of months and I think it came to a head this week Since Barnard castle, the writing has been on the wall for a while."
There were calls for Mr Cummings to quit earlier this year when he flouted lockdown measures by controversially driving up and down the UK despite having Covid-19 symptoms.
Mr Cummings was widely criticised in May after making a 260-mile journey during the coronavirus lockdown to his parents' house in Durham.
He was spotted in the city - almost 300 miles away from his London home - despite having had symptoms of coronavirus, a joint investigation by the Mirror and The Guardian revealed.
It was confirmed on 30 March Mr Cummings was self-isolating after experiencing symptoms, and the government had told the nation people should be staying at home, and not be visiting elderly relatives who were at greater risk from the virus.
It has been reported Mr Cummings has told colleagues he travelled to Durham after he and his wife developed Covid-19 symptoms so his parents could look after their young son.
His wife, journalist Mary Wakefield, later wrote an article describing their time in isolation - but made no mention of the trip to Durham.