Political mastermind Cummings threw final ‘dead cat’ on table with resignation

First off, without Dominic Cummings the Tory faithful would not have had Brexit – or an 80-seat majority.

The manner of Cummings' resignation is his final 'dead cat' manoeuvre, argues Steve Hawkes
The manner of Cummings' resignation is his final 'dead cat' manoeuvre, argues Steve Hawkes

Dominic Cummings is, or was, a political mastermind. People he beat didn’t like it, but his ‘win at all costs’ strategy delivered.

Remember the war over the prorogation of Parliament last year? Westminster insiders were stunned, but the voters lapped it up.

He took campaigning outside 'the bubble' and talked to a population criminally overlooked by people like David Cameron – and Jeremy Corbyn.

But just as Cummings' ruthlessness won the day in 2016 and 2019, it’s caught up with him now.

Quite simply, he overplayed his hand.

He backed ever-faithful lieutenant Lee Cain as chief of staff, but Cain didn’t get the job for a number of reasons.

Dom realises it’s time to go, and leave a position he’s never particularly felt comfortable in.

And then there’s the management style.

Dom and Lee carried the ‘win at all costs’ approach into No.10 and it’s cost them.

The appointment of Allegra Stratton as a West Wing-style press secretary was fiercely opposed by both as it chipped away at their power base.

Finally, months after Barnard Castle, it appears Boris Johnson is actually in charge of the country and we will likely see a ‘softer’ management style in the weeks and months ahead.

It’s timely that all this should happen just hours after the Government agreed a bumper compensation package for former Treasury special advisor Sonia Khan over her extraordinary dismissal last year, when she was frogmarched out of No. 10 [by armed police after being sacked by Cummings and having her security clearance instantly withdrawn].

He was identified in tribunal documents, despite talk that Government lawyers attempted to remove his name.

It’s a sign of his news ‘nous’ that it appears Cummings decided to pick up the phone to BBC star Laura Kuenssberg to reveal he was leaving just as the case was closed.

His resignation was his last ‘dead cat’.

Steve Hawkes is head of strategic media at BCW and former deputy political editor of The Sun

Thumbnail credit: Getty

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