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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
PA Dominic Cummings
Downing Street

Dominic Cummings steps up criticism of Boris Johnson’s suitability for office

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

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 UK Prime Minister’s former chief aide used his website to launch a fresh series of attacks on the way the British 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”.

Cummings made the comments today in an online question and answer session, which subscribers are required to pay to access.

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

In response to a question on his experience of being “close to power and the opportunities it provided”, 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, Cummings said the country that first acquired the technology may be able to “subdue” all others “and destroy us all”.

Cummings, who has a fascination with science and military technology, said AGI “ought to be a massive focus of government thinking but it is not”, despite his efforts while in Downing Street.

“Nothing like this now will get serious focus in Number 10 – Number 10 now is just a branch of entertainment industry and will stay so til BJ gone, at earliest,” 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…”

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

embedded260428396 Oli Scraff / PA The Prime Minister’s former chief aide made the comments on Monday Oli Scraff / PA / PA

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, Johnson responded: “It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.”

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

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