A new book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos and downfall of Boris Johnson’s premiership, including how the former PM’s indecisiveness and knack for pointing fingers led to his downfall, and how Dominic Cummings and Carrie Johnson influenced decision-making in Downing Street.
A new book by Anthony Seldon and Raymond Newell, “Johnson at 10”, chronicles the disarray and decline of Boris Johnson’s tenure as prime minister.
The book contends that Johnson used Dominic Cummings and his wife, Carrie Johnson, as scapegoats to conceal his own reluctance to make difficult decisions at Downing Street. Johnson described his then-fiancée Carrie as “mad and crazy” and used her as an excuse to avoid confrontations.
After the 2019 victory
Ed Lister, Johnson’s long-term adviser, remarked, “He thrives on chaos. They were all his decisions,” while Michael Gove revealed that Johnson’s relationship with his former chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, soured soon after the 2019 election victory when the Conservatives secured an 80-seat majority.
Johnson struggled to understand Cummings’ actions, leading to feelings of jealousy and frustration after the election. According to a loyalist, Cummings’ ego was significant, as that he believed he should be the Prime Minister and viewed Johnson as merely a vessel. This lack of respect for Johnson’s authority caused further tension between the two.
“After the election, Boris no longer wanted to be treated as a tempestuous thoroughbred,” said Gove. “He gave no other thought to a different way of running No 10 after the landslide than relying still on Dom almost exclusively, though he started to resent the fact that Dom would treat him if not like Jeeves and Wooster, then perhaps like the lord protector with a young and inexperienced king.”
Cummings could be insulting and rude. Some days Johnson ignored it, but on other days he could not.
“I’m the führer. I’m the king who takes the decisions” — Boris Johnson’s extraordinary outburst in Number 10