Number 10 fears Dominic Cummings bombshell dossier

Downing Street insiders do not know the extent of the fabric Mr Cummings claims to have and say they’re ‘terrified’ about additional revelations – Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA-EFE/Shutterstoc

Downing Street insiders are more and more fearful {that a} devastating “treasure trove” of inside memos and emails from Dominic Cummings will paint the Government within the worst doable mild on the top of the Covid disaster.

Mr Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser, is showing earlier than a joint committee of MPs investigating Whitehall’s response to the virus crisis subsequent month.

Jeremy Hunt, the chairman of one of many committees that can query him, on Saturday evening confirmed to The Telegraph that MPs would publish regardless of the former Downing Street aide gave them so long as it didn’t put nationwide safety in danger.

Mr Hunt stated: “We will publish whatever he gives us – we would have to check if it passes any tests.”

Downing Street insiders do not know the extent of the fabric Mr Cummings claims to have and say they’re “terrified” about additional revelations.

One Westminster insider stated there may be excessive nervousness about an obvious “treasure trove” of embarrassing paperwork that Mr Cummings – who quit 10 Downing Street last November, carrying a cabinet field – may need to get printed.

The insider stated: “Apparently he has got loads of stuff. No one has a real clue about what documents, emails and texts he actually has. They don’t know how much he has, nor what he has.

“The concern is that Boris [Johnson] needed to be dragged to the second lockdown [in November] and I believe they’re apprehensive it’ll make everybody who is not him look superb as a result of him and Rishi [Sunak] have been the one two who didn’t need to do the lockdown.”

A second Government source added that, in Whitehall meetings, Mr Cummings “used to scribble quite a bit in that ebook. I do not know what he has bought, what he has not bought”.

The information comes as Britain’s high civil servant faces being dragged into the battle between Boris Johnson and his former ally when he’s questioned by MPs on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs choose committee on Monday.

Sources on the committee said that Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, will be quizzed about his recollection of a conversation with Mr Cummings in which he suggested that Henry Newman, a friend of Carrie Symonds, was the source of “chatty rat” leaks, together with one in regards to the timing of the second lockdown.

In a 1,000-word blog post, Mr Cummings claimed Mr Case had advised him that “all of the proof undoubtedly results in Henry Newman and others in that workplace, I’m simply attempting to get the communications knowledge to show it”.

He alleged that the Prime Minister then personally asked him if it was possible to stop the leak inquiry because it would cause him “very critical issues” with his fiancée.

Mr Cummings claimed Mr Johnson said that if Mr Case discovered the leaker was Mr Newman then he would have to fire him and this would cause some “very critical issues with Carrie as they’re finest associates”.

MPs on the committee can even ask him about why – in line with Mr Cummings – Mr Johnson had asked donors to renovate his flat in Downing Street, earlier than Number 10 stated on Friday that the Prime Minister can pay for the work in spite of everything.

On Saturday evening Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Rachel Reeves, wrote to Mr Johnson calling for a “full investigation” into the sums spent on the flat.

Mr Cummings made clear in an explosive blog last week that he would answer questions about Number 10’s handling of the pandemic “for so long as the MPs need” when he gives evidence to MPs on the Health and Science committees on May 26.

In his only public remarks since publishing the blog, he posted an apparently ominous tweet referencing the debate about closing borders during the pandemic which said: “v necessary challenge re studying from catastrophe.”

Westminster insiders are mystified why Mr Johnson selected to select this combat with somebody who might trigger him a lot political injury. Some Tories consider left-leaning civil servants have been answerable for a few of the leaks, notably these linked to David Cameron and the failed finance firm Greensill.

One insider stated: “People in Downing Street do not actually perceive why Boris has kicked this, put his finger contained in the hornets nest.”

One senior Conservative MP said: “It is a whole mess. I’m afraid it’s factionalism of the worst variety mixed with the private state of affairs of the Prime Minister’s different half. It is absolutely unacceptable and the one one who can kind it out is the Prime Minister. It is tawdry.”

Another very senior Tory MP added: “Don’t ask me what’s going on in Downing Street, as a result of I simply do not know.”

There have been considerations that the rows might injury the Conservatives in a Super Thursday of local, mayoral and regional assembly elections next month.

One senior Cabinet minister added: “Everyone simply must settle down and shut up on each side. Some individuals who suppose attacking Dominic Cummings is supporting the Prime Minister – it is not. Let’s dwell and let dwell on all sides.

“We all – both the Prime Minister and Dominic – share many beliefs in terms of policy and the direction we want to take the country. We are all on the same side here. The only person who wins after this pathetic slagging match is Keir Starmer.”

In a uncommon public intervention, Mark Spencer, the Government’s chief whip, appealed for the totally different factions to cease “fighting previous battles”.

He advised The Telegraph: “Communities up and down the country are dependent on the Conservative Party representing them and improving their lives, and that is what we should all be concentrating on – not fighting previous battles.”

Mr Johnson is increasingly isolated in 10 Downing Street following the imminent departure of his chief strategic adviser Lord Lister-Udny. Politicshome reported on Saturday that the peer was a director of a firm that was aiming to build a “Hong Kong” in Libya, while serving as a non-executive director at the Foreign Office.

Number 10 said he had “declared any related pursuits in accordance with the suitable codes of conduct”.

That came as The Telegraph disclosed the preferred candidate to be the Prime Minister’s new adviser on ministerial interests – who was due to be unveiled last week – might not now take up the position following the chaos in Downing Street.

There were calls for Mr Johnson to appoint MPs who know him well from before he was PM, such as Conor Burns, Jake Berry and Nigel Adams, to senior Downing Street roles to stop damaging rows with Mr Cummings from breaking out.

One insider said that those inside Number 10 were “s******* themselves” ahead of potentially damaging revelations from Mr Cummings.

Several Government sources made clear on Saturday that the so-called “chatty rat” investigation into leaks from 10 Downing Street was still ongoing.

Friends of Mr Newman mounted a rearguard effort to shore up his position after he was named as a possible source of the leak. They pointed out that he did not even attend the relevant meeting from which details were leaked because he was not working in Number 10 at the time.

A senior official said: “The investigation continues to be dwell. It could be incorrect to suppose now we have landed on anybody particular person or, for that matter, utterly exonerated anybody.”

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We don’t touch upon leak investigations. Senior appointments at Number 10 undergo rigorous checks.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *