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Boris Johnson 'said he was the Fuhrer when he was sidelined by Dominic Cummings'

NewsBoris Johnson 'said he was the Fuhrer when he was sidelined by Dominic Cummings'

A frustrated Boris Johnson told aides: “I am the Fuhrer. I am meant to be in control. I’m the king who takes the decisions” as his adviser Dominic Cummings increasingly sidelined him in a “dysfunctional” No10, a new book claims.

By the time Johnson returned to work after being admitted to hospital in April 2020 with Covid, if not before, Cummings was bypassing him, the book, serialised in The Times, claims.

It adds that Cummings would regularly tell staff “Don’t tell the PM” and “Oh, don’t bother him with this.”

And those reporting to the PM realised that Johnson would “say anything” to them.

An official is quoted as saying: “It was desperately worrying, because he would say three different things on the same day to three different sets of people, and then deny that he had changed his mind or that the positions were mutually contradictory.”

Read more: The real power pulling the strings behind Boris Johnson

Johnson had initially been gleeful at bringing Cummings into Downing Street, knowing he was effectively bringing in a “sledgehammer”, the book, Johnson at 10: The Inside Story, by Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell, claims.

Tensions quickly emerged between Johnson and Cummings but until the 2019 general election, a lid was kept on it, the book claims.

An aide is quoted as saying Johnson was willing to accept directions from Cummings because it was clear his fate depended upon it – until he won the general election in December 2019.

Johnson regarded the election result as his personal victory, it is claimed, believing the huge Commons majority was a total endorsement of his brilliance personally.

He would regularly refer to “my majority” and say, “They would be nowhere without me,” one official is reported as saying.

The book also claims that shouting and expletives quickly reached new levels of acceptance during Cummings’s time at No10.

And Johnson could be just as foul-mouthed as his adviser. “He would use the c-word a lot around Dom and Lee (Cain, his communications director),” an aide is quoted as saying.

The aide added: “That’s what he thought working-class people did. Lee is definitely working class and even though Dom wasn’t, he came from the north-east, which was working class enough for Boris.

“It all contributed to a macho culture in No 10 which some, particularly women, found hostile.”

The book also details how Cummings eventually fell from power as Carrie, Johnson’s wife, gained ascendancy.

But an aide notes that as he had done with Cummings, Johnson would use Carrie as an excuse for his actions.

“He played us all off against each other. He would tell us that she was impossible to deal with, she was mad, crazy and he couldn’t control her, would do whatever she wanted.

Then he’d go upstairs and tell her that we were impossible and he couldn’t control us. He liked to pour petrol on both sides and see what happened to the fire.”

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