Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain: Exits give chance to ‘reset government’

Publishedduration37 minutes agomedia captionDominic Cummings leaves Number 10

The departure of the prime minister's chief adviser Dominic Cummings is a chance to "reset government", a senior Tory MP said.

Mr Cummings left Downing Street for the last time on Friday after internal battles about his role.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis said Boris Johnson had taken "decisive action" in removing his aide.

Lord Lister will become interim chief of staff pending a wide-ranging shake-up of the prime minister's team.

Mr Cummings and director of communications Lee Cain, who resigned on Thursday, will work out their notices at home following tensions within No 10.

Mr Davis said Mr Cummings had a "very confrontational-style" which had eventually turned people in Downing Street against him.

He said: "Lots of my colleagues are hoping for a new relationship – more openness and interaction with Parliament – and I am told the cabinet is hoping to get more say as it were in events."

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The departure of Mr Cummings and Mr Cain comes as the government grapples with coronavirus, and as trade talks between the UK and the EU on a future relationship reach a "make or break" point – with crucial differences proving hard to resolve.

The prime minister's official spokesman said Mr Johnson was not distracted by the row, and was "focused" on getting the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

Labour said the PM could "rearrange the deckchairs all he wants… but the responsibility for this government's incompetence still lies firmly at Boris Johnson's door".

"The fact there is no plan and no focus in the government's response to Covid is entirely down to him," a party source said.