The infamous architect of the Vote Leave campaign is set to return to government as Boris Johnson’s special adviser.
Dominic Cummings directed the campaign to leave the European Union and his appointment will be controversial given he was found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to give evidence to a committee of MPs investigating ‘fake news’.
Mr Cummings clashed with officials and politicians while he was an adviser to Michael Gove in the coalition government, but Mr Johnson clearly believes his forthright style will help steer Brexit through.
He is also less than impressed with the calibre of Brexiteer MPs, describing some members of the European Research Group (ERG) as a ‘metastasising tumour’ that needs to be ‘excised’.
Mr Johnson will need the support of those same ERG hardliners for his Brexit plan.
He has been highly critical of Theresa May’s Brexit strategy and was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in a Channel TV drama on the Leave camp.
Following reports of Mr Cummings’ appointment, independent MP Sarah Wollaston, who previously represented the Conservatives, tweeted: ‘If true, would be an appalling error of judgement to appoint someone who has been in contempt of Parliament.
‘Very rare for this to happen & would be shameful to be rewarded by PM with such a high-profile role.’
Eurosceptic Priti Patel has reportedly been lined up for the post of home secretary as Mr Johnson aims to create a ‘Cabinet for modern Britain’, with a record number of ethnic minority ministers and more women attending in their own right.
It is likely to mean a promotion for the Indian-born Employment Minister Alok Sharma, who is expected to take his place around the top table.
Unlike Ms Patel, he voted Remain in the 2016 referendum but was quick to declare his support for Mr Johnson when he threw his hat into ring following Mrs May’s decision to resign.
A source close to the Tory leader said: ‘Boris will build a Cabinet showcasing all the talents within the party that truly reflect modern Britain.’