Cummings caused more problems than he solved, says ex-Civil Service chief

14 November 2020, 14:41

Lord Kerslake reflects on Cummings' resignation

By Seán Hickey

The former head of the Civil Service insisted that Dominic Cummings was becoming too difficult to handle for Number 10.

Matt Frei was speaking to Lord Bob Kerslake following Dominic Cummings' resignation.

Matt noted that Mr Cummings was instrumental in the Brexit vote and the election landslide for the Conservatives in 2019, and wondered if "that explains why Boris Johnson allowed Dominic Cummings to get away with his misdemeanours," such as his flouting of lockdown rules.

Read More: Durham Police: Dominic Cummings did commit minor lockdown breach

"He was going to go pretty soon, in my view, after that event," said Lord Kerslake, admitting that he wasn't surprised to see Mr Cummings resign.

The former Civil Service head believed Boris Johnson didn't fire his adviser at the time "because he felt he needed him there."

Lord Kerslake argued that the PM must find a new Chief of Staff quickly
Lord Kerslake argued that the PM must find a new Chief of Staff quickly. Picture: PA

"Time has gone on and the balance sheet has changed," he went on, arguing that because issues like Brexit trade deals are being negotiated – arguably why Mr Cummings was recruited, he is now surplus to requirements.

"Dominic Cummings declared war on the media, the Civil Service and Conservative back benchers," said Lord Kerslake, adding that these actions "led to an insider dispute" within Number 10.

"The fact is that he was creating problems rather than solving them for the Prime Minister," he suggested.

The bottom line for Lord Kerslake following Mr Cummings' resignation is that the PM now "hasn't got a Chief of Staff and he needs one urgently."