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Dominic Cummings

It’s all Carrie’s fault

Dishing the dirt: Dominic Cummings. Luke Dray/Getty

Boris Johnson has never been that fussed about the realities of being prime minister, says his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings in an interview for Suzanne Moore’s Substack. “All he wants to do is not be a loser.” In fact, as soon as he won the election in December 2019, the PM totally lost interest in politics. “He was saying to me, ‘God, you know these people who say they want to do this job and go on and on? Well I want to write my Shakespeare book.’”

For much of the time, says Cummings, it was Carrie who was calling the shots. It was she who told the PM to fire most of his staff (Cummings included) and to commit to a now-infamous Downing Street refurb he could not afford. On hearing about the six-figure bill, Cummings suggested Boris “go to Coutts” or ask a rich friend for a loan. Johnson was having none of it: “No, f*** that. I want to get donations in to do it. But obviously it’s bad PR so I have to keep it quiet.”

March 12, 2020 was “probably the most insane day in No 10 since 1945”, says Cummings. Trump was trying to rope Britain into a bombing mission in the Middle East, and Covid meetings were at boiling point. But all the PM could focus on was a Times story about Carrie’s terribly behaved Jack Russell, Dilyn. Carrie was convinced Cummings had leaked it and wanted answers. “We’ve got meetings on bombing. We’ve got meetings on Covid. Everything is going down the f***ing toilet. But he’s getting texts from her about whether he’s started the inquiry into the Dilyn leak. That’s what we’re dealing with.”