Brexit mastermind and former Vote Leave campaign leader is no stranger to controversy.
As Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, he devised the risky strategy of pushing for a general election and made headlines during his infamous Barnard Castle eye test.
The PM stayed with his maverick spin doctor until he was ousted in a purge of Vote Leave staff members amid a briefing war.
Mr Johnson’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, is believed to have played a central role in Mr Cummings’ untimely departure.
Mr Cummings is now accused of leaking texts between Boris Johnson and billionaire Sir James Dyson, which has sparked a series of lobbying stories.
However, Mr. Cummings would be able to prove his innocence. He is also accused of being the so-called ‘talkative rat’ who sent Mr Johnson back in a second lockdown.
Mr Newman’s rise to Mr Johnson’s senior adviser was reportedly influenced by Ms Symonds.
In his dynamite blog post, Mr Cummings alleged that the Prime Minister was told that ‘all the evidence’ points to Mr Newman as the chatty rat whose leak forced the PM to rush for the second announcement lock.
Mr Cummings went on to claim that the PM felt it would cause ‘very serious problems’ for Ms Symonds if the councilor was fired because the two were ‘best friends’.
Mr Cummings says the Prime Minister wanted to cancel the investigation into the leak for this reason.
No 10 denied the charges, saying, “The prime minister never interfered in a government investigation into the leaks.” Mr. Newman has denied being the talkative rat.
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds
According to reports, the Prime Minister personally took the phone Thursday from newspaper editors to blame Dominic Cummings for leaking stories against him.
The move was seen as an attempt to ward off explosive revelations the adviser is expected to make when he testifies at an investigation into the government’s handling of the pandemic next month.
Today Mr Johnson’s enemies told the Daily Mail he reportedly said he would rather see “bodies piling up in the thousands” rather than order a third lockdown. No10 strongly denied this claim, insisting that it is “just one more lie”.
Linked to this whole information war is Mr Cummings’ extraordinary claim that Mr Johnson wanted ‘donors to secretly pay for the renovation’ of the Downing Street apartment he shares with Ms Symonds.
Mr Cummings said he warned the move would be “unethical, stupid, possibly illegal and almost certainly breaking the rules.”
The Mail claims the Prime Minister was “ashamed” to pay for the expensive renovation after revealing how the Conservative Party initially paid the bill.
Interior designer Lulu Lytle was reportedly involved in the upgrade led by Ms Symonds. Mr Johnson has denied any wrongdoing.
Former Fleet Street reporter Jack Doyle has been accused by Mr Cummings of making “a number of false accusations to the media”.
The Prime Minister’s new communications director has been accused of being the No.10 source who informed newspapers on Thursday evening that Mr Cummings was responsible for a series of damaging leaks.
It has long been speculated that pro-lockdown ‘doves’ such as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove or Health Secretary Matt Hancock or their advisers could have been behind the gossip rat leak that made switch the PM to the lock.
However, extraordinary details emerged over the weekend that MI5 had reviewed the tapes of WhatsApp messages sent from the Cabinet Room to No 10, where the lockdown was discussed, which pointed to Mr Cummings.
Prince William’s former private secretary Simon Case has launched an investigation into the talkative rat leak investigation, which has led security services to pounce on the homes of ministers and their aides to seize their phones .
Despite Mr Cummings’ protests, Whitehall sources told The Times Mr Case had not erased him from being the talkative rat.
A leaked memo obtained by the Daily Mail appears to show Conservative Party leader Ben Elliot knew that a £ 58,000 donation was intended for Boris Johnson’s Downing Street apartment.
Lord Brownlow, a Conservative peer, apparently wrote to the party’s fundraiser last October to tell him he was donating, including £ 58,000 to cover payments the party had ‘already made’ on behalf of of the soon to be formed Downing Street Trust.
As No.10 faced a barrage of tough questions about the leaks and lobbying stories, it became increasingly clear to advisers that televised briefings were a bad idea.
Former journalist Allegra Stratton was the first victim of the crisis, as her televised briefings were dropped before they even started. Instead, she will lead communications on the COP 26 climate change summit.