Boris Johnson deserves little sympathy over Partygate, says Dan Hodges in The Mail on Sunday. But it’s time we acknowledged an important point: the prime minister is “facing a coup”. Specifically, he is being targeted in a “meticulously planned” putsch by his former aide Dominic Cummings. It was the PM’s “arch nemesis” who first revealed that a party took place in Downing Street in May 2020. He’s also responsible for countless other “leaks and steers about other parties and Covid indiscretions”. Cummings openly admits he is trying to oust Johnson from office. He wants revenge, and thinks Johnson is “squandering the opportunities provided by his Brexit and general election triumphs”.
Most Tories are unbothered by this. “If a murderer goes to the police and gives evidence on a serial killer, you bang the serial killer up,” one told me. “It doesn’t matter where you got the evidence from.” But if Cummings does get rid of Johnson, that’ll only be the start of the “bloodletting”. It’s an “open secret” in Westminster that he wants Rishi Sunak to be the next PM. Does anyone really think he will just “sit on his hands” in the next Tory leadership election? And that if Sunak then disappoints him, he won’t “eventually turn on him in the same merciless way”? We shouldn’t stand for this. It should be voters who decide the next PM – not some “embittered former adviser”.