James O'Brien's take on Cummings 'using' PM to get 'Brexit con over the line'

21 July 2021, 14:40

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien responded after Dominic Cummings admitted that Boris Johnson was the best politician to get Brexit over the line, despite him "not being the right person to run the country."

It comes after the former aide made a series of explosive accusations on Tuesday against the Prime Minister, including his belief that Boris Johnson "is not fit" to be in his position, and that he considered ousting the PM after the election landslide.

These are not the first allegations the former aide has levelled against Boris Johnson; in May 2021 during the inquiry into the early handling of the pandemic, he said the Government "failed" to tackle Covid and "tens of thousands died unnecessarily."

Read more: Dominic Cummings: The key quotes from Boris Johnson's ex-adviser

Cummings said of Johnson last night, "He doesn't have a plan, he doesn't know how to be Prime Minister, and we only got him in there because we had to solve a certain problem, not because he was the right person to be running the country."

Read more: 'We cannot go on as we are': UK Brexit minister urges EU to 'find new path' over Northern Ireland

James said of Brexit: "Nothing desirable is deliverable, and nothing deliverable is desirable. That is Brexit in a nutshell.

"Boris Johnson is only the only politician in the country who, by the end of 2019, could still persuasively and publicly pretend otherwise. Theresa May had tried, she'd crashed and burned in the most spectacular of fashion.

"We needed the mother of all snake oil salesmen, we needed the most duplicitous, the most dishonest, the most disingenuous high profile politician that we've since the Second World War. That's the only way you were going to get this next stage of the con over the line."

James found it "almost unbelievable" that the Prime Minister's own former aide is "dropping these truth bombs": "If we're both seeing it from the same angle, it's almost certainly true."

"Johnson was the only politician who could gets this nonsense over the line... the man who put Boris Johnson in to Downing Street thinks he's so supremely unfit for purpose, within weeks of him arriving they were talking about getting rid of him."

Reflecting on the various consequences of Brexit, he said, "Did you know if every single person who's crossed the English Channel in a dinghy in the last two years was to immediately train as a lorry driver, we'd still be about 85,000 shy of the numbers we're going to need post-Brexit."