'Westminster is lost': has Dominic Cummings quit politics for good?

Dominic Cummings (PA)
Dominic Cummings (PA)

Londoner's Diary

Dominic Cummings seems to have given up on British politics. After playing a central role in Brexit, the rise of Boris Johnson and, later, his downfall, Cummings writes in a new blog that “it’s largely pointless trying to ‘influence Westminster’. Westminster is lost and will keep deteriorating and cannot build”. Is it the end of an era?

Setting out “part of my general view about the next five years”, Cummings says he will be devoting his energies to new projects like maths teaching. “It’s a much better use of time to focus on building things outside state control to solve problems,” he wrote. He is currently building a “maths circle”, an innovative teaching and learning method, which he hopes to share with low-income parents by making some of his blog posts free to read.

He is far more pessimistic about his position than Johnson, who claims in Nadine Dorries' new book The Plot that PM Rishi Sunak is Cummings’s “stooge” and "Manchurian candidate".

Cummings recently wrote about creating a “start-up party” of people disaffected with Conservatives and Labour that would change British politics for good. Are those plans now on hold?

Cummings served as Johnson's chief advisor in 10 Downing Street from 2019 to 2020. After a bitter falling out, Johnson sacked Cummings in 2020 along with his allies Lee Cain, director of communications, and Cleo Watson, deputy chief of staff. All of them have now moved on to other pursuits. Cain runs a PR communications agency, Charlesbye, while Watson is now a novelist.