Dominic Cummings Says He Discussed Ousting U.K.’s Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson’s former chief aide said he discussed ousting the U.K. prime minister and installing a new leader just days after the Conservatives won the December 2019 general election.

In his first major TV interview, Dominic Cummings told the BBC that Johnson “doesn’t have a plan, doesn’t know how to be prime minister.”

He alleged that the premier’s wife Carrie Johnson had attempted to influence government appointments, and he recalled talking with allies in early January 2020 about Johnson’s future.

“Before even mid-January we were having meetings in Number 10 saying it’s clear that Carrie wants rid of all of us,” Cummings said. “At that point we were already saying by the summer either we’ll all have gone from here or we’ll be in the process of trying to get rid of him and get someone else in as prime minister.”

According to a clip from the interview, to be broadcast later Tuesday, Cummings did not name a potential successor to Johnson.

The former chief adviser had a front-row seat for much of the pandemic decision-making before leaving government late last year after an internal power struggle. Since then, he has been savage in his criticism of Johnson’s handling of the pandemic, telling a parliamentary committee in May that the Tory leader was “unfit” to lead the country. Cummings denied that he is motivated by revenge.

A spokesperson for Johnson’s office told the BBC the government was entirely focused on “emerging cautiously from the pandemic and building back better.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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