Cummings steps up criticism of PM Johnson’s suitability for office

Boris Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings criticised the Prime Minister for a lack of focus.

Cummings steps up criticism of PM Johnson’s suitability for office

Boris Johnson’s Downing Street is now a branch of the “entertainment industry”, with a lack of serious focus on important issues, Dominic Cummings claimed.

The Prime Minister’s former chief aide used his website to launch a fresh series of attacks on the way the Government operates.

He claimed that if the way the top of Government worked was shown to the outside world, “everyone would sell everything and head for the bunker in the hills”.

It is the latest salvo from Mr Cummings in his sustained war of words with the Prime Minister.

In response to a question on his experience of being “close to power and the opportunities it provided”, Mr Cummings said: “Fascinating but very troubling.

“The world is so dangerous, there are so many very smart and able people – when you watch the apex of power you feel like ‘If this were broadcast, everyone would sell everything and head for the bunker in the hills’.”

In his latest attack on Whitehall, he added that it is “impossible to describe how horrific decision-making is at the apex of power” and that it is “generally the blind leading the blind”.

Responding to a question about the artificial general intelligence (AGI), the hypothetical ability of machines to develop human-like thinking, Mr Cummings said the country that first acquired the technology may be able to “subdue” all others “and destroy us all”.

Boris Johnson visit to Huddersfield
The Prime Minister’s former chief aide made the comments on Monday (Oli Scraff/PA)

“Nothing like this now will get serious focus in No 10 – No 10 now is just a branch of entertainment industry and will stay so til BJ gone, at earliest,” Mr Cummings said.

“The most valuable commodity in (government) is focus and the PM literally believes that focus is a menace to his freedom to do whatever he fancies today, hence why you see the opposite of focus now and will do til he goes…”

Mr Cummings said “Cabinet hasn’t really been important under BJ at all” and he said that it would be “good for (the) country for him to be constrained by some force now that I’ve gone”.

And he told one questioner that they “overestimate the extent to which there was coherent thinking re strategy” over tackling coronavirus.

He said: “That ain’t how BJ works.

“The trolley just smashed around day after day – after wave 1 he wished he’d not locked down and he was worried re economy, not wave 2.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Dominic Cummings released messages from Boris Johnson criticising the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, pictured (Steve Reigate/Daily Express/PA)

Asked who should be Labour leader if Sir Keir Stamer was not, he said: “If they have a smart, tough woman from (the) Midlands who can build a team and wants to win more than she wants to be liked by media, she’s the ticket!”

The latest criticism from Mr Cummings came after he called his former ally Mr Johnson a “gaffe machine” and released text messages from the early stages of the pandemic in which the Prime Minister was highly critical of Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Mr Cummings published one screenshot from WhatsApp in which the Prime Minister described the Health Secretary as “totally f****** hopeless” in an exchange about coronavirus testing.

In another message about struggles to procure ventilators, Mr Johnson responded: “It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.”

Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Monday, Mr Hancock acknowledged that people say “all sorts of things in private” when they are under pressure, but insisted that he and Mr Johnson work “very strongly together”.

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