We’re used to Dominic Cummings making eyebrow-raising “revelations” but no-one could have predicted his latest admission: that he’s a fierce Britney Spears supporter.
Boris Johnson’s former adviser-turned-nemesis took to Twitter to post an impassioned message about the pop star as she continues her bid to end the conservatorship that’s controlled her life for more than a decade.
In his tweet, Cummings suggested that US president Joe Biden, the governor of California (where Spears’s legal action is taking place), and all of their respective staff weigh in on the dispute by voicing their stance on the current “shocking conservatorship laws”.
Here’s what he wrote:
Now @britneyspears can hire own lawyers: please Britney team write/tweet to all in Congress, all @POTUS staff, all… https://t.co/BURoG2G4Dv
She opted for Hollywood attorney Mathew Rosengart who has represented a number of big names and who is now ramping up efforts to oust her father Jamie Spears from the arrangement, which has given him power over her $60 million estate for the past 13 years.
Countless fans around the world have publicly backed the Toxic singer as the legal fight rages on by sharing messages of love and encouragement using the hashtag “FreeBritney”.
But why this should be such an important issue to the 49-year-old architect of the UK’s Vote Leave campaign has flummoxed scores of fellow Twitter users.
Here’s how they responded to the apparent Spears stan’s tweet:
The Prime Minister’s former de facto chief of staff said he had found his boss to have “hopeless” traits after working with him during the 2016 Brexit referendum, but agreed after he entered Downing Street three years later to assist him.
But Cummings, who left his post in the autumn after a power struggle, admitted he was now working to bring an end to the PM’s tenure.
Asked during the BBC interview, which aired last Tuesday, whether he was looking to “hasten” Johnson’s departure from Downing Street, he said: “Certainly. The sooner he goes the better, for sure.”
His explosive comments should not be viewed in isolation, however. Since his departure from No10 he has engaged in a furious tirade across Twitter and his own blog site, slamming members of the Government – including the Prime Minister and the new health secretary Sajid Javid – in lengthy and often cryptic posts.
At least his latest tweet about Spears is comprehensible and, as many readers pointed out, easy to rally behind, given the momentum behind her conservatorship battle.
On Monday, Spears’ new counsel Rosengart petitioned to remove her dad Jamie, 69, from the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money for 13 years and replace him with a professional accountant.
The attorney said in documents filed in Los Angeles Superior court that the current legal arrangement "has grown increasingly toxic and is simply no longer tenable."
He proposed that the 69-year-old be replaced with CPA Jason Rubin as conservator of the pop star’s estate, which documents say equates to $2.7 million in cash and more than $57 million in assets.
Rosengart said in the filing that before he sought to end the conservatorship, he was first addressing "the most pressing issue facing Ms Spears: removing Mr Spears as conservator of the estate."
"Any father who genuinely loves his daughter and has her best interests at heart should willingly step aside in favor of the highly respected professional fiduciary nominated here," Rosengart said in the documents.
Lynne Spears, Britney’s mother and Jamie’s ex-wife, said in a declaration supporting Rosengart’s filing that his "microscopic control" over her health care and business decisions in a key period in 2018 and 2019 was especially damaging.
"Such scrutiny is exhausting and terrifying, like living in custody," Lynne Spears said.
Jamie stepped down as the so-called conservator of the person for his daughter in 2019, ceding control of her life decisions and health care to court-appointed professional Jodie Montgomery while maintaining control of her finances.
However, at a July 14 hearing, his attorney Vivian Thoreen said he would not be stepping down and he has only ever been motivated by his daughter’s best interests.
Thoreen said the pop icon had many inaccurate beliefs, among them that "her father is responsible for all the bad things that have happened to her."
Judge Brenda Penny gave Spears permission to hire an attorney of her choice at that hearing, when for the second straight time the singer publicly assailed the conservatorship that has been in place since 2008, breaking into tears as she described the "cruelty" it subjected her to.
"My dad needs to be removed today," she said, adding that she would like to see him charged with abusing his position.
Hours after the explosive hearing, the 39-year-old vowed to keep speaking out in a fiery Instagram post.
She wrote to her more than 32 million followers: “So I said ‘life goes on’ in one of my recent posts but it’s always easier said than done !!!!!
“In that moment that’s what felt was the easiest to say but I think we all know that I will never be able to let go and fully move on until I’ve said all I needed to say … and I’m not even close !!!!
“I was told to stay quiet about things for so long and I finally feel like I’m just getting here.”