The Prime Minister’s most senior adviser Dominic Cummings has issued a veiled threat to the former attorney general as the two square off over Brexit.
Backbencher and serial Remainer rebel Dominic Grieve had previously argued that Cummings was “simply wrong” to state that MPs would not be able to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Grieve, the MP for Beaconsfield, also said Cummings’ position was born out of a “mixture of his characteristic arrogance with ignorance”.
This morning Cummings – the Vote Leave director, who has joined Boris Johnson’s top team in Number 10 – told Sky: “I don’t think I’m arrogant… I don’t know very much about very much.”
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However, he added: “Mr Grieve will see what he is right about.”
Cummings said: “The simple thing is the Prime Minister believes that politicians don’t get to choose which votes they respect, that is the critical issue.”
But Grieve has gone further, telling the Times the queen may intervene if Johnson refuses to quit if he loses a confidence vote.
“The queen is not a decorative extra,” he told the paper. “It’s true she has sought to keep herself well away from the cut and thrust of politics, but at the end of the day there are residual powers and responsibilities which lie with her. She might have to dispense with his services herself.”
An unnamed MP goes further, telling the Telegraph: “She would have to sack him. Of course she would.”
In a letter to the Times, former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind warned that Johnson “would create the gravest constitutional crisis since the actions of Charles I led to the Civil War.”
He added: “I have great confidence that the prime minister will ignore the advice of Dominic Cummings. King Charles lost his head by flouting the constitution. Mr. Johnson will wish to keep his, while some around him are, clearly, losing theirs.”
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