SNP claims Dominic Cummings has done ‘irreparable damage’ to Tories and UK
The SNP have claimed No.10 adviser Dominic Cummings has done “irreparable damage” to the Tories and UK.
Boris Johnson’s controversial senior adviser is set to leave his job, with reports he will be “out of government” by Christmas.
It follows a prolonged behind-the-scenes power struggle at No.10 this week in which Lee Cain, the director of communications and key ally of Mr Cummings, also stood down.
Mr Cummings was understood to be furious about Mr Cain’s resignation and threatened to quit himself during a tense telephone call with Mr Johnson on Wednesday night.
He is believed to have now decided to stay until Brexit is done and his work on the mass testing programme Operation Moonshot has come to an end.
Set to leave government months on from breaching the lockdown rules with his trip to Barnard Castle, the SNP say Mr Cummings’ legacy is one that has "completely alienated Scotland".
Deputy leader Kirsten Oswald said: "Boris Johnson's partnership with Dominic Cummings has caused lasting harm to the UK, and irreparable damage to the Tory government - regardless of whether he finally resigns amid the Downing Street civil war.
"The Tory Prime Minister has always been deeply unpopular in Scotland, but his decision to bring the Vote Leave campaign to the heart of the UK Government, and impose an extreme Brexit against our will, has completely alienated Scotland.
"The Tory government has never recovered from the reckless decision to cling on to Mr Cummings when he broke lockdown rules.
“By refusing to suspend him, the Prime Minister did serious damage to public trust and cemented his government's reputation as arrogant, incompetent, untrustworthy, and utterly self-serving.”
The senior SNP figure pointed to polls from the aftermath of scandal involving Mr Cummings that saw the Prime Minister's net approval rating fall to minus 5, with 43 per cent of people viewing the Tories as “incompetent” and 48 per cent saying they were “serving their own interests”.
MS Oswald said: "The fact that senior members of the Tory government are squabbling and fighting among themselves over their highly-paid, taxpayer-funded jobs, in the middle of a health and economic crisis, tells you everything you need to know about their twisted priorities.
"Scotland now faces the prospect of an extreme Brexit, a Westminster power grab, and a growing Tory unemployment crisis.”
Senior Tories believe the Vote Leave exodus could see Mr Johnson change tact and seek to reset relations with the devolved administrations.
Conservative MPs have also urged No.10 to use his departure as an opportunity to restore the values of "respect, integrity and trust".
Cabinet minister Grant Shapps has claimed Mr Cummings "will be missed".
Meanwhile, the Treasury has settled an employment tribunal claim with a former aide who was fired by Mr Cummings.
It is understood the government will be paying out a five-figure sum.
The settlement with Sonia Khan, who advised then-chancellor Sajid Javid until she was escorted out of Downing Street by police, means Mr Cummings no longer faces the prospect of giving evidence in the case next month.
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