‘What proof!’ Boris Johnson’s ex-aide blasts Dominic Cummings’ claims in No10 row

Dominic Cummings is not ‘Mother Theresa’ says Montgomerie

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Mr Cummings accused the Prime Minister of seeking to halt the investigation into the leak of plans for a second lockdown after he was warned a close friend of his fiancee Carrie Symonds could be implicated. He also claimed Mr Johnson had attempted an “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal” plan to get Tory donors to fund the lavish refurbishment of his official Downing Street flat. But former adviser to Mr Johnson Tim Montgomerie has poured cold water on the claims as he said Mr Cummings does not have “much of a reputation” with the British public.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight, he said: “I think Dominic Cummings is not Mother Theresa in the eyes of the electorate.

“This is not a critic of the Prime Minister who will immediately cause Downing Street to quake at.

“He doesn’t have much of a reputation with the public.

“I think what matters about these allegations is not yet that they’ve been made, I don’t think that will give them legs.

“What matters is how much proof he has of some of the allegations he makes.”

The claims prompted speculation Mr Cummings is bent on revenge after his dramatic departure last year from No 10 amid a bitter internal power struggle with Ms Symonds.

Ministers are braced for further allegations when he appears next month before MPs investigating the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Johnson sought to brush off the charges saying the public did not “give a monkey’s” about such matters.

Boris Johnson comments on Cummings leak rumour

Asked by LBC radio if he had tried to block the leak inquiry, the Prime Minister replied: “No, of course not.”

Downing Street said in a statement that ministers had acted at all times “in accordance with the appropriate codes of conduct and electoral law”.

Labour said the Tories were fighting “like rats in a sack” demonstrating a “breath-taking contempt” for the public.

Mr Cummings’ onslaught was prompted by briefing to newspapers that Mr Johnson believed he was behind a series of leaks including text messages exchanges in which the Prime Minister promised to “fix” a tax issue for the entrepreneur Sir James Dyson.

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In a lengthy blog post he accused Mr Johnson of ordering his aides to make false allegations about him and offered to give evidence to the Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

He went on to deny a No 10 claim that he was the so-called “chatty rat” responsible for the leak last October which was seen to have “bounced” the Government into announcing a second lockdown.

He said Mr Case had told both him and Mr Johnson that “all the evidence” pointed to Henry Newman, a special adviser and a close friend of Ms Symonds, and “others in that office” as having been responsible.

The Prime Minister, he said, had been “very upset” as it would cause him “very serious problems” with Ms Symonds if Mr Newman had to be fired and had asked whether the leak inquiry could be stopped.

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