Putting an end to speculations, Dominic Cummings, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief aide, has exited the Downing Street, a media report said on Saturday.
According to the BBC report, Cummings will continue to work from home, on issues such as mass coronavirus testing, until the middle of December.
His departure from Downing Street on Friday night had been brought forward given the “upset in the team” in Downing Street, for which she said it had been a “difficult week”, the report said.
It added that Johnson is said to want to “clear the air and move on”.
The departure comes after Lee Cain, Director of Communications and an ally of Cummings, resigned on November 11 amid reports of internal tensions at Downing Street.
Cain and Cummings are long-time colleagues and had worked together on the ‘Leave’ campaign during the 2016 European Union referendum.
After Johnson became Prime Minister in 2019, he hired Cummings as his senior adviser.
Their “Get Brexit Done” campaign strategy helped the ruling Conservative Party win a large majority in the December 2019 general election, which finally led to the UK exiting the EU, the BBC report said.
But Cummings has been mired in controversy this year after several lockdown breaches.
In June, when the country was under a national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he drove 260 miles from London to his family home in Durham with his four-year-old and wife, who was suffering with virus symptoms.
A few days later, he drove the family to Barnard Castle on his wife’s birthday, to “test” whether his eyesight was up to the long drive back to London after feeling unwell himself.
Meanwhile, several MPs of the ruling Conservative Party have welcome Coummings’ exit, the BBC report said.
“Both Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain were pretty dismissive of backbenchers and sometimes ministers and secretaries of state, and I don’t think that was helpful,” said former Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers.
“I do think it’s important that whoever takes over has a different approach.”
Politician Bernard Jenkin said it was time to restore “respect, integrity and trust” between No 10 and party MPs, while veteran Conservative MP Roger Gale said it was “an opportunity to muck out the stables”.