Dominic Cummings clears his desk at No10 as he quits IMMEDIATELY over power struggle that engulfed Downing Street


DOMINIC Cummings quit No10 tonight after losing in a huge row over power at the heart of Government.

The Brexit guru had insisted he will stepping down in the New Year as planned after helping deliver the EU exit and shaking up the civil service – but this evening had packed up his desk and quit.

Dominic Cummings tonight packed up some of his things and left No10 carrying a box

The aide was seen leaving Downing Street with his things and will leave his job tonight

The former Vote Leave boss – who shot to political fame working on the Brexit campaign in 2016 – confirmed his departure late last night after losing a key ally in spin doctor Lee Cain.

Mr Cain is also believed to be leaving with immediate effect.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky this morning “he’ll be missed… but advisers come and go.”

Today MPs came out to say it was right he was going – and called for a fresh approach in No10.

One gleeful Tory said: “goodbye and good riddance”.

Relations between MPs and some of the PM’s top team are at rock bottom after a chaotic pandemic and months of bubbling rebellion.

Earlier today No 10 declined to say whether he had formally handed in his notice, whether he had told Boris Johnson of his departure and whether an exit date had been set.

But they vehemently denied that his exit would soften the UK’s negotiating stance in post-Brexit trade negotiations with Brussels.

Tory MPs urged a rethink in relations with the Parliamentary party after the row engulfed No10 for a third day.

And one senior Tory MP told MailOnline that the PM didn’t know what to do with the top job now he was in it – and didn’t see him sticking around.

They said: “I think he is a bit like Gordon Brown. I want it, I’ve got it, I don’t know what to do with it. I think he’s knackered.

“I have spoken to three Cabinet members recently, all of whom at the beginning of this session thought he would be there for 10 years. Now they say he will be there 10 months.”

Asked whether Mr Johnson would fight the next election, another MP said: “Good God, no.”

Bookmaker Coral makes the PM odds on, at 4-6, to not lead the Conservative Party at the next General Election.

Senior Tory backbencher Sir Bernard Jenkin told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s an opportunity to reset how the Government operates and to emphasise some values about what we want to project as a Conservative Party in Government.”

A senior source said of Cummings: ‘If he’s not gone by the end of the week I doubt he will still be here next year’

A vicious turf war engulfed Boris Johnson’s Downing Street – resulting in the resignation of key aides

He said it is time to restore “respect, integrity and trust” which he said have been “lacking in recent months” between No 10 and Tory MPs.

“I’m not surprised in a way that it is ending in the way it is. No prime minister can afford a single adviser to become a running story, dominating his Government’s communications and crowding out the proper messages the Government wants to convey,” Sir Bernard said.

“Nobody is indispensable.”

 Theresa Villiers said Dominic Cummings’ departure from No 10 will be “a good opportunity for a fresh start”.

The former environment secretary told the PA news agency: “Clearly there are concerns about the dismissive attitude sometimes shown by Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings towards people in Government and MPs on the backbenches.

“And this is an opportunity to move on from that and to have a more collaborative approach.”

Yesterday the PM’s team were accused of fighting “like rats in a sack” on the day it should have been responding to the highest number of Covid cases ever recorded.

Mr Johnson is now under pressure to bring in “someone with big boy pants” to get a grip of No10.

The turf war follows the dramatic resignation of his top PR man Mr Cain in a bitter power struggle between aides and his fiancé Carrie Symonds.

Mr Cain, who wanted more powers, was enraged by Allegra Stratton’s appointment to be the new face of No10 at daily White House style TV briefings.

A compromise idea of making Mr Cain the boss of all No10 staff sparked a backlash from senior female aides including Ms Stratton, backed by pal Ms Symonds.

The plan to make Mr Cain the boss of all No10 staff sparked a furious backlash from senior female aides backed by Carrie Symonds

Lee Cain resigned on Wednesday

Mr Cummings threatened to walk out – and some senior Tories said the PM should ease him on his way.

Sir Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, said that there had been “unhappiness” about the Downing Street operation for some time.

“Members of parliament have felt excluded from the decision-making process, and that’s no secret,” he added.

And Jake Berry, an old ally of Mr Johnson who leads a group of 50 Northern tory MPs, said: “As we go past that grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from this appalling disease, it’s high time that there was a bit of a change of guard in No 10.”

Sir Roger Gale MP warned: “A PM, particularly one facing the difficulties Mr Johnson is facing, needs heavyweight help. It really is time that Downing Street got in place somebody with big boy pants on.”

But fellow Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg leapt to Mr Cain’s defence saying: “May I just say what a fantastic public servant he has been, somebody instrumental in ensuring the Vote Leave campaign was successful and somebody who has made a huge contribution to this government.”

Last night Labour claimed Government infighting was hampering the fight against Covid.

A spokesman said: “Boris Johnson’s Government is fighting like rats in a sack over who gets what job. It is precisely this lack of focus and rank incompetence that has held Britain back.”

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