DOMINIC Cummings has made a series of damning and extraordinary attacks on his former boss Boris Johnson today.
Mr Cummings – the PM’s ex-aide who was one of his most trusted confidantes – spoke to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg during an explosive televised interview.
The shamed former senior adviser has launched a fresh volley of attacks on the PM in his first TV interview since sensationally leaving Downing Street in a political dust up.
In a clip from the interview teased last night, Mr Cummings accused Mr Johnson of letting Brits die from Covid to save his political skin.
He said Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance both urged the PM to lockdown last September to stop a killer second wave, but Boris told them “no no no”.
The rogue former Downing Street chief also revealed WhatsApps from Mr Johnson sent last October in which the PM said he said he no longer “buys into all this NHS overwhelmed stuff”.
A government source told the Telegraph that the programme was a “Prince Andrew level interview” – referring to the duke’s trainwreck discussion with Emily Maitlis in 2019.
Here are three of Mr Cummings’ most damning claims which were revealed tonight.
BOOTING OUT BORIS
Mr Cummings said he was looking to oust Boris as Prime Minister only weeks after helping him secure an 80-seat majority.
Mr Cummings, who left No 10 in the autumn after a power struggle, accused Mr Johnson of not having a plan and said he “doesn’t know how to be Prime Minister”.
The Vote Leave mastermind said he assisted the Conservative Party poll victory in December 2019 in order to settle the Brexit debate rather than due to any firm belief in his leadership.
Mr Cummings also laid bare the extent of the fractious relationship between former Vote Leave officials and Mr Johnson’s now-wife, Carrie Johnson only weeks after the landslide win.
“Before even mid-January we were having meetings in Number 10 saying it’s clear that Carrie (Johnson) wants rid of all of us,” he said.
“At that point we were already saying by the summer either we’ll all have gone from here or we’ll be in the process of trying to get rid of him and get someone else in as Prime Minister.”
Mr Cummings claimed that in 2019, ahead of the election, Mrs Johnson was happy to have Vote Leave officials working in Downing Street, but this later changed.
He said: “As soon as the election was won her view was, ‘why should it be Dominic and the Vote Leave team?’ Why shouldn’t it be me that’s pulling the strings?’”
Mr Cummings was scathing about Mr Johnson’s vision for the country.
He added: “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.”
WANTING TO VISIT THE QUEEN
Mr Cummings claimed Mr Johnson wanted to visit the Queen at the start of the UK’s Covid pandemic and had to be stopped and warned that Her Majesty – then aged 93 – might die if she caught coronavirus.
Mr Cummings claimed that he had to stop Mr Johnson going to see the Queen in person at the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020.
This was when staff at Number 10 were already falling ill with the brutal bug after it had spread from China.
And the Prime Minister had instructed the public to avoid all unnecessary contact – especially with the elderly.
Mr Cummings recalled: “I said, what are you doing?
“And he said, ‘I’m going to see the Queen’ and I said, ‘what on earth are you talking about, of course you can’t go and see the Queen’.
“He said, ‘ah, that’s what I do every Wednesday, sod this, I’m gonna go and see her’.
“I said to him, ‘there’s people in this office who are isolating, you might have coronavirus, I might have coronavirus, you can’t go and see the Queen.
“‘What if you go and see her and give the Queen coronavirus? You obviously can’t go.
“I just said ‘if you, if you give her coronavirus and she dies what, what are you gonna, you can’t do that, you can’t risk that, that’s completely insane’.
“And he said, he basically just hadn’t thought it through, he said, ‘yeah, holy s***, I can’t go’.”
Downing Street has denied that this exchange took place.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on his explosive accusation.
Mr Johnson ended up taking a 15-month break from his face-to-face weekly audience with the Queen after meeting her on March 11 2020.
Instead, they spoke on the phone.
But Mr Cummings, who has been in a war of words with Mr Johnson since quitting No 10 last November, alleged Mr Johnson wanted to visit her a week later, on March 18.
Their first in-person meeting was not until June 23 this year.
Mr Cummings admitted that the way he handled the intense backlash from his Covid rule-breaking trip to County Durham was “wrong”.
He he left London due to “repeated security problems at my house going back to 2019”.
Mr Cummings later told the media that he took the trip to “test his eyesight”.
He said tonight: “The situation was extremely chaotic… the plan when I discussed it with the PM was that he agreed we should just say nothing about it.
“What then happened is that he suddenly changed his mind and said we cant stick with the initial plan.
“I said I’m not going into the security stuff and the whole thing turned into a whole mess.
“Everything I said in the Rose Garden [press conference] was true but I didn’t go into all the security concerns in the background.
“There’s absolutely no doubt that the way we handled the whole thing was wrong – what I should’ve done is resigned, or spoken to my family and said we’re just going to have to come clean about the whole thing.”
Mr Cummings sensationally claimed Mr Johnson didn’t want to lock the country down at the start of the Covid pandemic.
He said: “Boris said repeatedly we should not have done the first lockdown.
“His attitude at that point [autumn 2020] was a weird mix of, er, partly it’s all nonsense and lockdowns don’t work anyway and partly, well this is terrible but the people who are dying are essentially all over 80 and we can’t kill the economy just because of people dying over 80.”
“Lots of people heard the Prime Minister say that, the Prime Minister texted that to me and other people.
“He put his own political interests ahead of people’s lives for sure.”
He revealed messages the PM sent to him on October 15 last year in which Boris suggests people with Covid actually lived longer.
It states: “I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men 85 for women.
“That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer.
“Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4 per cent ) and of those virtually all survive. And I no longer buy all this nhs overwhelmed stuff.
“Folks I think we may need to recalibrate.”
The PM added: “It shows we don’t go for nationwide lockdown.”
Mr Cummings said his relationship with the PM began to deteriorate partly due to the influence of Boris’ then-girlfriend Carrie.
He said: “First of all he [Boris Johnson] was, he was fed up with the media portrayal of him being a kind of puppet for the Vote Leave team, it was driving him round the bend.
“I had a plan, I was trying to get things done, he didn’t have a plan… he didn’t have an agenda, you know the Prime Minister’s only agenda is buy more trains, buy more buses, have more bikes and build the world’s most stupid tunnel to Ireland, that’s it.
“Also he knew that we basically disagreed about what was happening on Covid and he knew that I was blaming him for not having acted in September, which I was.
“And then… I thought that his girlfriend was interfering with appointments, people who were being, she wanted to have people fired and she wanted to have people promoted in ways that I thought were unethical and unprofessional.
“And that also led to a big argument between us.”
Mr Cummings said he and his team had meetings inside Number 10 discussing Carrie’s plans to get rid of them all.
“The situation we fond ourselves in is that the Prime Minister’s girlfriend wanted to get rid of us and appoint clowns to certain jobs.”
SOONER THE BETTER
The former aide said that he wants Boris Johnson to be removed from his post as Prime Minister.
“Certainly I think the sooner he goes the better, for sure,” he said.
Kuenssberg then asked Mr Cummings if he was “doing things to try to make that happen”.
“Yes,” he replied.
“I’m explaining what went wrong. Also I think, you know, there’s an irony in it that if last summer he’d gone down the route that he started to go down which was the system’s failed, let’s be honest about the system failing and lets rebuild it, remove people, create new things…
“Unfortunately for a whole set of reasons he’s decided not to go down that route, he’s decided to go down the route of, er, of essentially completely inventing…
“I mean you know perfectly well what happened last March, right, you know the official policy was herd immunity by September, you know all the graphs, you were briefed on it by the government and the chief scientist and Matt Hancock and everybody else, everyone knows that’s true.
“For reasons that completely escape me, the Prime Minister and some of the people around him have decided to just say black’s white and say that never happened… and the people like me who know what happened have a duty to speak out and tell people the truth about what actually happened in there and not, not because it’s revenge which is what you’re suggesting but because if we don’t learn, history tells us the same disasters will happen again.”
LAST TIME THEY SPOKE
The last time he spoke to Boris Johnson was the Friday he left Number 10, Mr Cummings said.
He said they have had no real contact since then.
“He texted me a couple of days later saying would I speak to him and I said no,” Mr Cummings said.
He added that he didn’t know if he would speak to Mr Johnson ever again – but that it “doesn’t bother me one way or the other”.
Mr Cummings admitted that he was a “treacherous kind of person”.
Kuenssberg asked him: “Doesn’t that make you actually a pretty treacherous kind of person? You know when [Mr Johnson] hired you, plenty of MPs, some of his old friends, some ministers, who thought that you would be ultimately you would be dangerous to him.
“Haven’t you just proved that they were absolutely correct?”
Mr Cummings replied: ” In certain, in some ways of course yes.”