Thursday 28 November 2019 11:52 am

Dominic Cummings is quitting government, but not for the reason you think

Reports of Dominic Cummings’ political death have been greatly exaggerated.

It was first reported by The Guardian last night that the controversial special adviser (spad), and Brexit campaign mastermind had resigned three weeks ago.

Read more: In defence of my friend Dominic Cummings

Social media was humming this morning with news of Cummings’ demise, with some criticising journalists for not having reported the resignation sooner.

However, a Cabinet Office spokesman told City A.M. that while Cummings had resigned that didn’t mean he would not be returning to Number 10 if the Conservatives win the election.

In fact Cummings is “more than likely” to return to Number 10 if Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins the election.

The spokesman said “most spads” quit during election periods so they are able to campaign and that Cummings’ resignation was “quite normal” and “normal practice” under purdah – the rules government and civil servants must abide by in the pre-election period.

He added that it was “more than likely” that all the spads who had quit would be returning to Downing Street if Johnson is re-elected – Cummings included.

The news of Cummings’ temporary Downing Street exit came as he posted a long message on his blog warning Brexit voters to not be complacent and to vote Tory.

The message – which he called “a bat signal” – claimed that “powerful” forces were working to stop Brexit, such as Goldman Sachs.

“If Boris doesn’t get a majority, then Corbyn will take control of Number 10 on Friday 13th in alliance with Sturgeon plus the Liberal Democrats,” he said.

“And if this Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance takes control, their official policy is to give millions of EU citizens the vote in the second referendum. 

“They don’t plan to lose again and… they will do anything, supported by the likes of Goldman Sachs writing the cheques like they did in 2016, to ensure Remain win.”

Read more: Cummings cements power over ministerial aides

The election intervention raised questions about Cummings’ current status at Number 10, as under purdah rules government employees cannot get involved in electioneering.

However, Cummings’ temporary exit from Downing Street paved the way for him, and other spads, to campaign for the Tories.