School of Politics and International Relations

Dominic Cummings: Downing Street's disruptor in chief

30 July 2019

Dominic Cummings, picked last week by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be his top adviser, is a combative and unorthodox political strategist credited with masterminding the unexpected 2016 Brexit vote victory. He has been compared to Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, and is similarly a keen student of military theories and tactics. Cummings' elevation, like Bannon's, is seen as a risky move, with some sceptical that his uncompromising and caustic style can succeed at the heart of British government. “Dominic Cummings is the disruptor's disruptor -- he's strategically single-minded and ideologically iconoclastic,” said Tim Bale, Politics Professor at Queen Mary University of London, who featured him in his 2011 tome The Conservative Party: from Thatcher to Cameron. “Civil servants and party apparatchiks may well have their noses put out of joint by his adviser, but for Johnson that's a price well worth paying if he can hang on to [power] and get us out of the EU.”

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