DAN WOOTTON: Carrie and Cummings need to bury the hatchet
DAN WOOTTON: Whoever is the Chatty Rat, Carrie and Cummings need to bury the hatchet and get behind Boris for the sake of the country
Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings once represented a near-perfect political allegiance.
The country owes them for securing the seismic Brexit victory and guaranteeing its delivery, following numerous pathetically meek failures by Theresa May.
United, it felt like nothing could topple them – the future of the UK was in exciting hands.
The rulebook was shredded. Anything could happen! What a ride…
Carrie Symonds (left, with Boris Johnson) and Dominic Cummings need to bury the hatchet, writes Dan Wootton
Dom, the Westminster-destroying outsider who would take no prisoners in his mission to turn ‘the system’ – from the terrified BBC to the institutionalised civil service – upside down and inside out.
Boris, the affable public face, who could win support for his steely-eyed political partner’s revolutionary agenda.
More from Dan Wootton for MailOnline…
Perhaps it was that power that so threatened Boris’ real-life partner Carrie Symonds, who hated Dom’s sheer force of personality and his ability to ruffle feathers and control her fiancé.
After all, as a former Tory spin doctor herself, why the heck did Boris need this ‘madman’ taking the reins?
Especially after the palaver of THAT trip Barnard Castle at the height of the pandemic where Boris expended what little political capital he had left at the time to save Dom’s job, at what felt like any cost.
But Dom and Boris divided, as they are now, is a political horror story. Toxic and immature, they seem to be trying to tear each other apart. It’s a battle that does neither side any good.
According to seemingly coordinated front page stories in The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Sun today, Boris has only one suspect about who is responsible for ‘systematic leaking’ about him: It’s Dom!
A No10 source told The Sun: ‘The Prime Minister thinks Dominic Cummings is responsible for a series of damaging leaks about his personal communications.
‘He is deeply disappointed and saddened by what he thinks his former adviser has been doing, and believes he is attempting to undermine the Government and the Conservative Party.’
MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton
Cummings totally denies being the so-called Chatty Rat, incidentally.
You would have hoped a global pandemic, never-ending lockdowns and an economic catastrophe would be enough to focus minds and stop this sort of carry on.
However, in politics, personal rivalries and bitterness trumps everything.
The leaks in questions have not in themselves caused Boris too much harm yet.
This week text messages between Sir James Dyson and the PM were released, showing Boris pledged Dyson would not be forced to pay extra taxes if they helped deliver ventilators at the height of the pandemic.
In one message, Boris wrote: ‘James, I am first lord of the Treasury and you take it that we are backing you to do what you need.’
Ironically, far from being damaging to Boris, it showed him as a highly engaged, hands-on PM prepared to do whatever it took to save British lives. That’s something to celebrate in my books.
And I don’t think the public see it as anything close to a scandal, despite Keir Starmer’s opportunistic attempts to whip up a storm.
So should Dominic Cummings, if the rumours are to be believed, be leaking? Obviously Number 10 Downing Street think not and have launched a formal investigation.
They wish Dom would celebrate the enduring popularity of Boris – the man he made PM – and the supreme success of the UK’s vaccine rollout, which owes its genesis to Brexit.
Former ITV News star Allegra Stratton gave up her very promising gig running the image of Chancellor Rishi Sunak to launch White House-style daily briefings for Boris, at the personal request of the PM, only to be discarded without a second thought this week
But Dom has reason to be furious, given his brutal departure from Government after falling out with Carrie, despite the fact he was central to delivering Boris his Brexit and red wall victories.
By all accounts, Dom was rude, difficult to deal with and disrespectful while in power. Cabinet ministers, MPs, advisers and long-time public servants despised him.
But that’s why I adored the bloke and think Boris should have done far more to keep him peeing inside the tent, rather than all over it from the outside as he is now accused of doing.
When Dom was running the Government, he brought out the best of Boris.
After years of unfulfilled promises, the Tories were finally going to crack down on the dominance of the outwardly left-wing BBC, for example. Without him, it’s back to business as usual – moderate thinking and a distinct lack of ambition.
This week text messages between Sir James Dyson and the PM were released, showing Boris pledged Dyson would not be forced to pay extra taxes if they helped deliver ventilators at the height of the pandemic
Boris also has to take some responsibility about the way he treats people.
Former ITV News star Allegra Stratton gave up her very promising gig running the image of Chancellor Rishi Sunak to launch White House-style daily briefings for Boris, at the personal request of the PM, only to be discarded without a second thought this week.
It’s politically unwise to treat staff aware of the good, the bad and the ugly inside Government in such a cavalier manner.
Should we care about any of this nonsense political infighting? The answer is obvious: Of course not.
The public is rightly concerned about what matters post-covid; jobs, education, health, housing and the future of the Union.
Navel-gazing by politicians and their advisers who should know better is not high on the agenda.
But, believe me, this story matters because it’s these sorts of long-running behind-the-scenes bitch-fights that consume huge attention of the people who are entrusted with making some of the biggest political decisions since World War Two.
Transformation to a post-Covid world is an even bigger feat to tackle than Brexit.
So this behaviour is deplorable and pathetic – and all parties need to immediately snap out of it to concentrate on what matters.
Carrie Symonds should immediately invite Dominic Cummings and his wife around for a private dinner in the Prime Ministerial flat at Number 11 Downing Street.
She was rightly furious about alleged leaks by Cummings’ allies last year describing her as ‘Princess Nut Nuts’ but there’s something much more important at stake now.
Carrie and Dom can have it out and then agree a respectful path forward that works for both sides.
Dominic should be offered roles that tap into his transformational ability and passion for levelling up Britain and making us a science and technology hub.
Then they should all shut the hell up forever more about their petty differences and put the interests of the United Kingdom before their egos.
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