Tories fear Dominic Cummings could return in Gove premiership
Is Michael Gove in league with Dominic Cummings? Tories fear vengeful ex-aide and senior minister are ‘working together on coup to force out Boris Johnson’
- Dominic Cummings will give evidence to MPs tomorrow on Covid-19 response
- Some Tory MPs fear Mr Cummings is plotting a sensational political comeback
- They believe Mr Cummings and Michael Gove could be plotting to oust the PM
Tory MPs fear Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove are working together to try to oust Boris Johnson from Number 10, it was claimed today.
Some Conservative backbenchers believe Mr Cummings could make a political comeback at the heart of a future Gove premiership – should the Minister for the Cabinet Office ever secure the keys to Downing Street.
The claims, dismissed as ‘absurd conspiracy theories’ by friends of Mr Gove, came as Mr Cummings prepares to give bombshell evidence to MPs tomorrow on the Government’s coronavirus response.
Number 10 is braced for a damaging onslaught, with the PM’s ex-aide having already slammed the Government in a lengthy Twitter thread full of various accusations.
Downing Street had kept its powder dry in the days leading up to Mr Cummings’ appearance in front of a joint session of the health and science select committees.
But sources have now accused Mr Cummings of being a ‘rank hypocrite’ who is trying to ‘rewrite history’.
Tory MPs fear Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove are working together to try to oust Boris Johnson from Number 10, it was claimed today
Number 10 is braced for a damaging onslaught when Mr Cummings gives evidence to MPs tomorrow on the Government’s coronavirus response. Boris Johnson’s former top aide has already slammed the Government in a lengthy Twitter thread full of various accusations
The Telegraph reported that Mr Gove will not be criticised by Mr Cummings during his evidence.
Some Tory MPs believe the Vote Leave architect is planning a return to Whitehall in a Gove premiership.
Some Conservative backbenchers fear the pair are conspiring to try to oust Mr Johnson, the newspaper said.
One former Cabinet minister said: ‘Gove is permanently on manoeuvres. The man manoeuvres more than Napoleon did.’
The former minister said Mr Gove is a ‘shapeshifter’ and ‘everything is just a performance because he keeps trying to reinvent himself’.
One Whitehall source said they were ‘sure the two of them have spoken’ since Mr Cummings left Number 10 in November last year.
‘Both think exactly the same way, and have known each other for so long – since Cummings worked for Gove at the Department for Education – that Cummings knows what Gove’s position is on any one topic,’ they said.
The source suggested that ‘Dom bulldozes a path and then Michael follows in his ministerial car’.
But friends of Mr Gove rubbished the claims as ‘absurd conspiracy theories’.
‘Michael is focused on the job the PM has asked him to do – co-ordinating the cross government response to the pandemic, tackling backlogs in our public services and strengthening the Union,’ one friend said.
Another ally said Mr Gove is ‘not in touch’ with Mr Cummings and they have not spoken ‘for months’.
Mr Gove has run for the Tory leadership twice before, including when he torpedoed Mr Johnson’s run in 2016. Allies insist he is content in his current role.
Mr Cummings has set the stage for an explosive appearance in front of MPs tomorrow by claiming the Government’s ‘Plan A’ in the early months of the pandemic was to pursue a strategy of ‘herd immunity’.
Mr Cummings said the initial response to the crisis was ‘total and utter chaos’ and the original plan was only ditched after Number 10 was warned it would lead to a ‘catastrophe’.
Downing Street has vehemently denied that ‘herd immunity’ was ever its strategy.
A Government source today accused Mr Cummings of ‘revisionism’, telling The Times: ‘He’s going round saying ”if only competent people were in charge”.
‘This was a guy with unrivalled authority. You can either be an all-powerful special adviser or a busted flush with no powers and influence. You can’t be both. He’s a rank hypocrite.’
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