Boris Johnson ranted about being “the King” after his election victory, Dominic Cummings has claimed.
And in a post to paid Substack mailing list members, the former top aide suggested the PM spent more time last January worrying about getting Big Ben to chime to mark Brexit than he did on any other political issue – including Covid-19.
Mr Cummings took to his mailing list to answer a string of questions asked of him following his blockbuster BBC interview last week.
He said he felt like he had fulfilled a “moral obligation” by doing the interview – which he had promised to Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg during the 2016 referendum campaign.
“Obviously I could have made a lot of money doing it with another media company but I think my decision was the right one to do it with the BBC,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve fulfilled a moral obligation, given my role in [Vote Leave] and No10, to answer whatever questions the BBC wanted to ask.”
Dominic Cummings explained parts of his BBC interview
And he sought to explain his claim to have plotted to remove Mr Johnson from office in 2019, almost immediately after his general election victory.
Mr Cummings claimed Mr Johnson’s now wife Carrie Johnson “started trying to replace key people with incompetent stooges so she could run things from the flat.”
He claimed a reshuffle that had been “supposedly finalised” had been torn up at midnight, “causing chaos for poor officials downstairs who could hear her shouting at him through the phone.”
He added: “In this awful environment, he was ranting about how he was now ‘the King’ and doing mad things like trying to organise obviously illegal secret donations to pay for the flat renovation.”
A Government report last week confirmed Mr Johnson’s flat refurbishment had originally been paid for by Tory donors, although it was later refunded by Mr Johnson after press reports of the deal.
Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministerial interests, said the PM had "unwisely" allowed the redecoration to go ahead without considering who would pay the bill.
But he stopped short of saying Mr Johnson broke the ministerial code.
In April 2020 the PM took advice that a charitable Trust to fund works on No10 – including “some if not all of the costs” of refurbishing his private flat above No11 – “could be made to work".
But Lord Geidt’s report said Mr Johnson "simply accepted" that a Trust could sort out the bill "without further interrogation".
This idea was scrapped following legal advice.
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Mr Cummings went on: “People often ask ‘how much did the PM discuss covid in January?
“Answer: in January, he spent more time on the ‘Big Ben Bongs’ story (will Big Ben bong for Brexit on 31/1?) than on any other political issue including covid.”
He added: “In order to solve the constitutional crisis, we had helped him win. We felt heavy responsibility for this given his character. In this context in January 2020, if we had not been discussing scenarios in which he blew up, we’d have been irresponsible idiots.”
A Number 10 spokesperson said: "We do not agree with Mr Cummings’ characterisation of events.”