It all came about thanks to leaked CCTV footage showing Hancock locked in a passionate embrace with his close aide Gina Coladangelo.
And while many commentators, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, congratulated Javid on his return to Boris Johnson’s cabinet, the Prime Minister’s former advisor took the opportunity to have a dig at his old nemesis.
He tweeted in response to the news: “So Carrie appoints Saj! NB If I hadn’t tricked PM into firing Saj, we’d have had a HMT with useless SoS/spads, no furlough scheme, total chaos instead of JOINT 10/11 team which was a big success. Saj = bog standard = chasing headlines + failing = awful for NHS.”
To translate, Cummings is suggesting that Johnson’s wife Carrie Symonds was responsible for getting her friend and former boss Javid back onto the frontbenches.
He then implies that he sucessfully pushed the Prime Minister to fire Javid from his role as Chancellor and that, thanks to his removal from the post, the treasury (HMT) was able to flourish under his successor Rishi Sunak.
He completes his tirade by branding the MP for Bromsgrove a “bog standard” attention seeker.
And then, in case it isn’t obvious that he’s not a fan of the Government, he adds at the very end: “Need Regime Change.”
So Carrie appoints Saj! NB If I hadn't tricked PM into firing Saj, we'd have had a HMT with useless SoS/spads, no f… https://t.co/oL6XYt70SU
The main issue with Cummings’s provocative message is that Javid was not sacked from Number 11 at all.
Instead, he resigned in February last year following a power struggle with No. 10, namely with the PM’s then chief adviser.
The former Deutsche Bank executive was just six months into his role as chancellor, and less than a month away from delivering his first Budget, when he quit after being told to sack all his advisers if he wanted to keep his job.
But in a reversal of fortunes it is Javid who returns to the Government’s top team, while Cummings hurls criticism from the outside.
Symonds, who previously clashed with Cummings, was once a special adviser to Javid during his tenure as communities secretary and the two maintained a close relationship.
However, Javid was unwilling to contend with her husband’s demands that he sack his team of aides and replace them with a joint No 10/No 11 unit.
Tension between No 10 and No 11 simmered after the then chancellor’s adviser, Sonia Khan, was escorted out of Downing Street by police after being sacked by Cummings in August 2019.
In a Commons statement following his resignation, Javid said chancellors had to be able to “speak truth to power” and “the arrangement proposed would significantly inhibit that, and it would not have been in the national interest”.
Symonds (left) sits next to Javid at the Conservative Party's General Election campaign launch in November 2019AFP via Getty Images
He returns to the Cabinet to help lead the pandemic response at a crucial time, as efforts focus on suppressing a rise in coronavirus cases ahead of the planned easing of restrictions next month.
Having already held six of the most senior positions in Government – running the housing, business, culture, Treasury and home affairs department – he at least has some experience under his belt.
Let’s just hope that unlike his DHSC predecessor, his closet is skeleton-free...