Dominic Cummings continues attack on government and calls on Keir Starmer to press Tories on violent crime

·3-min read

Watch: Dominic Cummings continues attack on government and calls on Keir Starmer to press Tories on violent crime

Labour should attack the government over its record on violent crime, Dominic Cummings has said, as he continued his assault on ministers.

In a two-hour question and answer session with paid subscribers to his Substack newsletter, Boris Johnson's former senior aide described the PM as "a pundit who stumbled into politics and acts like that 99% of the time".

He also referred to Downing Street as a branch of the "entertainment industry", without a clear focus on the important issues of the day.

And following his revelation of WhatsApp messages allegedly showing the prime minister calling Matt Hancock "totally f****** hopeless", Mr Cummings also accused the health secretary of saying "nonsense things all the time".

The former adviser was asked by one questioner: "If you were the opposition, what would you be doing right now to change the polls?"

Mr Cummings replied: "First thing is kick Tories up and down the street on violent crime.

"But Starmer is fixated on media/bubble, he won't re-orient to public…"

Asked for his views on Sir Keir, Mr Cummings said: "Starmer seems just another not great lawyer who thinks politics is about watching the media all day."

And pushed on who he would replace Sir Keir with if he stepped down as Labour Party leader, Mr Cummings added: "If they have a smart tough woman from midlands who can build a team and wants to win more than she wants to be liked by media, she's the ticket!"

Among the many questions asked by members of the public during the online session was one about whether comments Mr Hancock made about COVID revealed the wider thoughts of government officials.

"Hancock just says nonsense things all the time, I would not infer there is some complex moral reasoning going on!" he replied.

Mr Cummings said it was "reasonable" for one reader to ask why he devoted so much time and energy into ensuring Mr Johnson became prime minister if he did not believe he was up to the job.

He added that he would be writing more about this at a later date.

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In response to a question on how he found his experience of being "close to power", Mr Cummings replied: "Fascinating but very troubling.

"The world is so dangerous, there are so many very smart and able people - when you watch the apex of power you feel like 'if this were broadcast, everyone would sell everything and head for the bunker in the hills'."

And asked if more focus should be paid to artificial general intelligence (AGI), Mr Cummings replied: "No 10 now is just a branch of entertainment industry and will stay so til BJ gone, at earliest.

"The most valuable commodity in gvt is focus and the PM literally believes that focus is a menace to his freedom to do whatever he fancies today, hence why you see the opposite of focus now and will do til he goes..."

On Friday, Mr Johnson's former chief aide described the PM as a "gaffe machine" who is "clueless about policy and government".

And earlier this month, Mr Cummings published a 7,000 word blogpost which included one screenshot from WhatsApp in which Mr Johnson appears to describe the health secretary as "totally f****** hopeless" in an exchange about coronavirus testing.

In another message about struggles to procure ventilators, Mr Johnson responded: "It's Hancock. He has been hopeless."

But the prime minister has since given his full backing to Mr Hancock.

"I have complete confidence in Matt and indeed all of the government who have been dealing with COVID-19 during the pandemic," Mr Johnson said on a visit to Kirklees, West Yorkshire, on Friday.

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