Former chief advisor Dominic Cummings has spoken out against Boris Johnson in a new blog post, where he insisted that he warned the prime minister “to grip this madhouse.”
Cummings – who has strongly criticised Johnson since his departure from No 10 – described that day in 2020 as a “particularly intense shambles.”
He claimed to have approached the PM about the principal private secretary (PPS) Martin Reynolds’ invitation where he invited 100 staff members to a “bring your own booze” garden gathering – but Johnson reportedly “waved it aside.”
“I said to the PM something like: Martin’s invited the building to a drinks party, this is what I’m talking about, you’ve got to grip this madhouse,” the former advisor penned.
Cummings suggested that the PPS then went to the official’s office to discuss the planned party. Upon return, he “declined to withdraw the invite.”
“I told the PPS the invite broke the rules,” Cummings recalled, to which the secretary allegedly replied: “As long as it’s socially distanced I think it’s OK, I’ll check with the PM if he’s happy for it to go ahead.”
The former advisor added, “I am sure he did check with the PM.”
He continued: “Obviously even if it was ‘socially distanced’ this would in no way make it ‘within the rules’”.
“The PM waved it aside,” Cummings alleged.
“I had told him repeatedly the PPS should be replaced, as had other competent officials who knew the whole structure needed a huge upgrade in personnel and management,” to which Johnson allegedly responded with: “‘He’s MY guy, I don’t want you replacing him with YOUR person.’ (Yes, this says a lot.)”
“The idea that the PPS would be challenged by two of the most senior people in the building, say he’d check with the PM then not — is not credible,” he added.
“Will the PPS claim that having invited people to a drinks party, he told the PM it was a ‘work meeting’?! (Claiming this, given the actual words of his invite, would, of course, necessarily imply that MR knew a drinks party was against the rules.)”
Indy100 has reached out to Downing Street for comment.