Boris Johnson agreed to Dominic Cummings’s ‘terrorist demands’ for total control of No 10 operation in order to secure his services as an adviser, explosive biography reveals
- EXCLUSIVE: Tom Bower’s The Gambler serialised in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday
- It reveals how the PM cycled to Mr Cummings’ home after becoming Tory leader
- Among the adviser’s demands were delivering Brexit and winning an election
- He also wanted to ‘revolutionise Britain’s decrepit government machine’
Boris Johnson agreed to the ‘terrorist demands’ of Dominic Cummings as the price for securing his services as an all-controlling adviser in Downing Street, an explosive new biography of the Prime Minister discloses.
The renowned investigative author Tom Bower tells how Mr Johnson cycled to Mr Cumming’s London home after becoming Tory leader to implore him to join his No.10 operation and was given his demands: Cummings wanted to deliver Brexit, win a general election and then ‘revolutionise Britain’s decrepit government machine’.
The book, The Gambler, which is being serialised exclusively in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday, contains a string of startling revelations about Mr Johnson’s public and personal life, and goes far further than any previous biography towards solving the enigma of his true personality.
Boris Johnson, pictured today, agreed to the ‘terrorist demands’ of Dominic Cummings as the price for securing his services as an all-controlling adviser in Downing Street, an explosive new biography of the Prime Minister discloses
The book says Mr Cummings warned Mr Johnson about the Civil Service: ‘They will destroy you. You always need me to sort the b******s out.’
Mr Bower writes of Mr Johnson: ‘On his way to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace, he already knew how he intended to run Downing Street…Only Dominic Cummings matched his requirements as a strategist and enforcer to push Brexit through the hostile Commons’.
Mr Cummings has proved to be a divisive figure in the Tory party, with some MPs complaining that his No.10 operation is remote from the rest of the party and too preoccupied with institutional change.
Over the past 12 months, Mr Cummings has forced out senior civil servants, embarked on a radical restructuring of Whitehall and declared war on the BBC.
According to the biography, he told Mr Johnson that he would ‘control the Downing Street administrative machine, appoint the prime minister’s private staff and be the gatekeeper to control access to Boris himself….the only people he could trust, said Cummings, were the dedicated Vote Leave campaign staff. Those loyalists should come with him to Downing Street. Only through that command structure, said Cummings, could he accept Boris’s offer.’
Bower analyses the chemistry between Boris and Cummings, recording that some sources thought that the Prime Minister was ‘mesmerised’ by his aide.
The book says Mr Cummings, pictured this week, warned Mr Johnson about the Civil Service: ‘They will destroy you. You always need me to sort the b******s out’
He writes: ‘That would be an exaggeration. Boris’s skill was to identify his own weaknesses and hire the right person to compensate for them.
‘Cummings was not only a master of strategy and could intensely focus on detail but, like Boris himself, was a rule-breaker.
‘As a kindred spirit, he understood [that] willpower would demolish their mutual enemies. His most important contribution would be instilling unyielding resolution never to compromise. His determination to march forward and trample the opposition was vital. Boris decided that he could not run Downing Street without him’.
Having persuaded Cummings to sign up, Bower writes: ‘Boris’s acquiescence to Cummings’ ‘terrorist demands’ of total control over Downing Street’s administrative machine … caused immediate friction.’