Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain: Exits give chance to ‘reset government’

The departure of the prime minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings is a chance to “reset government”, a senior Tory MP has said.

Mr Cummings left Downing Street for the last time on Friday following internal battles about his role.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said Boris Johnson had taken “decisive action” in removing his aide.

The PM’s spokesman said Mr Johnson was not distracted by the row and was “focused” on tackling coronavirus.

Mr Cummings and director of communications Lee Cain, who resigned on Thursday, will work out their notices at home following tensions within No 10.

Mr Davis said Mr Cummings had a “very confrontational-style” which had turned people in Downing Street against him.

He said: “Lots of my colleagues are hoping for a new relationship – with more openness and interaction with Parliament – and I am told the cabinet is hoping to get more say, as it were, in events.”

The departure of Mr Cummings and Mr Cain comes as the government grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, and as trade talks between the UK and the EU on their future relationship reach a “make or break” point.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said it was “scandalous” that in a week when the UK’s coronavirus death toll passed 50,000, redundancies rose to a record high and the country was negotiating “the most significant trade deal for 50 years”, that the “people in No 10 round the prime minister are arguing and jockeying for position”.

Labour said the PM could “rearrange the deckchairs all he wants… but the responsibility for this government’s incompetence still lies firmly at Boris Johnson’s door”.

“The fact there is no plan and no focus in the government’s response to Covid is entirely down to him,” a party source said.

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