Dominic Cummings was Boris Johnson's top adviser during the pandemic
Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings called the UK’s cabinet ministers “useless f***pigs” at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Newly revealed Whatsapp messages show Cummings castigating the government’s most senior politicians and calling on the then-prime minister to sack a number of them in summer 2020.
The exchanges, shown at the Covid-19 inquiry on 31 October, were sent during a sharp rise in infections after Johnson’s government opted to reopen parts of the economy and send students back to school.
Cummings urged Johnson to carry out a surprise reshuffle, sacking the likes of then-education secretary Gavin Williamson and then-health secretary Matt Hancock.
He said: “At the moment the [Westminster] bubble thinks you’ve taken your eye off ball, you’re happy to have useless f***pigs in charge, and they think that a vast amount of the chaotic news on the front pages is coming from No 10 when in fact it’s coming from the Cabinet who are ferral.”
He also warned of potential “leadership challengers” if Johnson didn’t go through with a reshuffle.
Johnson did not follow through with Cummings’ advice, leaving it until September 2021 to carry out a reshuffle, after the adviser had left Downing Street.
Cummings was asked about the messages at the inquiry on Tuesday (October 31).
He said: “My appalling language is obviously my own but my judgement of a lot of senior people was widespread. I would say, if anything, it understated the position.”
Meanwhile, Johnson’s then communications chief Lee Cain said the messages were sent in a high-pressure environment within the government. However, he said the language was also a reflection of Johnson’s leadership.
He said: “Fundamentally any Number 10 [Downing Street] is a direct reflection of the principal, and I think that’s probably the case here.”
Elsewhere, messages between Cummings and Cain referred to Johnson in a similarly negative light.
Cummings messaged Cain from inside a meeting with the PM, saying: “Get in here he’s melting down.”
“I’m exhausted just talking to him and stopping the trolley. I’ve had to sit here for two hours just to stop him saying stupid s***.”