Dominic Cummings was pictured arriving for work at Downing Street in jeans and a crumpled shirt today
Mr Cummings is renowned as the maverick architect of the Vote Leave campaign that won the 2016 vote. He was played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the Channel 4 drama about the Brexit battle.
But he is a deeply divisive figure in Westminster, with MPs warning that he has ‘no personal skills’ and only wants to dismantle the establishment.
Mr Cummings, who was present in No10 as Mr Johnson was installed as PM yesterday, was pictured arriving for work in jeans and a crumpled shirt this morning.
His former boss, Michael Gove, has also been handed a crucial role as No Deal minister as Mr Johnson reassmbles the team that defeated the might of the government to secure the Leave vote three years ago.
Mr Cummings has written prolific blogs on government and Brexit over years that give a glimpse into his thinking.
Last month he penned a 10,000-word post calling for an end to the ‘Kafka-esque’ influence of civil servants on politicians.
He proposed creating independent ‘Red Teams’ to challenge official advice to ministers – who would be rewarded for overturning the orthodoxy.
Dominic Cummings, pictured far right, was in Downing Street as Boris Johnson was greeted at Number 10 by his Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill
His former boss, Michael Gove, has also been handed a crucial role as No Deal minister as Mr Johnson reassmbles the Vote Leave team from three years ago
On the current arrangements for supporting ministers, he said: “The whole structure of ‘submissions’ and ‘red boxes’ is hopeless. It is extremely bureaucratic and slow.’
Mr Cummings said the civil service had presided over ‘expensive debacle after expensive debacle’, and the Brexit negotiation had been another ‘failure’
He dismissed Westminster as ‘the blind leading the blind’, saying that for top mandarins ‘management, like science, is regarded contemptuously as something for the lower orders to think about, not the ”strategists” at the top’.
The 47-year-old memorably nicknamed the educational establishment ‘the blob’ when he was adviser to Mr Gove at the Department for Education.
On his blog last month, Mr Cummings said a ‘second referendum in 2020 is quite possible’.
He said such a vote might be the ‘ideal launchpad for a completely new sort of entity, not least because if it happens the Conservative Party may well not exist in any meaningful sense (whether there is or isn’t another referendum)’.
Mr Cummings has been upsetting the Westminster establishment for years.
In 2014, David Cameron reportedly branded him a ‘career psychopath’ and Mr Cummings resigned from government and accused him of ‘bumbling from one shambles to another without the slightest sense of purpose’.
Mr Cummings described Lib Dem former deputy PM Nick Clegg as ‘a revolting character’, which triggered Mr Clegg to dismiss him as a ‘loopy ideologue’.
Dominic Cummings: The acerbic Brexit mastermind not afraid to speak his mind
Dominic Cummings was the quiet yet acerbic power behind the Vote Leave campaign that propelled Britain towards backing Brexit in 2016.
While Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were in the limelight the 47-year-old remained in the shadows pulling the strings.
Born in Durham and educated at Oxford University, he over saw a campaign that totally outflanked Remain and which is widely credited with leading to the 52-48 result in favour of quitting.
Such was his central role he was played by Benedict Cummberbach in Channel 4’s Brexit: The Uncivil War last year (below).
He was the man behind the infamous ‘£350million-a-week for the NHS’ claim on red buses, and the ‘take back control’ catchphrase. However, a year after the referendum, Mr Cummings said it was a ‘dumb idea’.
But his success in the strategic role of the campaign saw his drawn blinking into the daylight.
A former special adviser at the Department for Education during Mr Gove’s controversial reforming tenure was later found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to answer MPs questions about campaign.
He declined to assist the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s investigation into claims made by Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie that the Facebook data of millions of users was illegally harvested and used to sway the Brexit vote.
He was once labelled a ‘career psychopath’ by former prime minister David Cameron, according to widely-reported remarks.
But Mr Cummings is no stranger to an insult either.
He described Mr Davis, then the Brexit secretary, as ‘thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus’ in July 2017.
He has also turned his fire on hardline Brexiteers in the Tory European Research Group in one of his trademark lengthy blogposts.
In March he likened some members of the to a ‘metastasising tumour’ accusing them of ‘scrambling’ for top radio spots while ‘spouting gibberish’ since 2016.
He also attacked them for their help – or lack of it – during the referendum campaign, saying ‘so many of you guys were too busy shooting or skiing or chasing girls to do any actual work’.
The mastermind criticised a ‘narcissist-delusional subset’ of the ERG that he said needed to be ‘excised’.
Some had actually been ‘useful idiots for Remain during the campaign’ and continued to play this role, he claimed.