Boris Johnson is set to appoint the controversial former chief of the Vote Leave campaign as one of his senior advisers in 10 Downing Street.
The new Conservative leader and incoming prime minister will hand a key role to Dominic Cummings after the pair worked closely together while campaigning for the UK to leave the EU ahead of the 2016 referendum.
However, Mr Cummings has a record within Westminster as a radical reformer but also a divisive character once described as a “career psychopath”.
As recently as March this year the Durham-born 47-year-old was found in contempt of parliament for failing to appear before a committee of MPs.
Who is Dominic Cummings?
In the early 2000s, Mr Cummings served as director of strategy for the Conservative Party.
However, he left the role and subsequently branded then Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith as “incompetent”, adding he would be a “worse prime minister than Tony Blair and must be replaced”.
He later led the successful campaign against Labour’s proposal for an elected regional assembly in the North East, before going on to work as a special adviser for Michael Gove.
However, when the Conservatives were elected to power as part of the coalition government in 2010, Mr Cummings’ employment at Mr Gove’s Department for Education was banned by Andy Coulson, then Downing Street’s director of communications.
Yet, after Mr Coulson resigned amid the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, Mr Cummings became Mr Gove’s chief of staff.
Civil servants made allegations of an “us-and-them aggressive, intimidating culture” under the pair, before Mr Cummings quit his role in 2013 in order to open a new free school.
Then prime minister David Cameron later reportedly described Mr Cummings as a “career psychopath”.
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Ahead of the 2016 EU referendum, Mr Cummings joined the Vote Leave campaign but soon clashed with eurosceptic Tory MPs.
He survived an attempt to oust him from the campaign and was later credited as one of the most influential figures behind Vote Leave’s success under its “Take Back Control” slogan.
Hollywood actor Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Mr Cummings in a Channel 4 drama of the 2016 EU referendum campaign.
Last year, Mr Cummings refused to appear before the House of Commons’ digital, culture, media and sport committee as part of their fake news inquiry.
He was called to appear to respond to “allegations made against the Vote Leave campaign” during the inquiry and to “clarify allegations about the unlawful coordination of EU referendum campaigns”.
But Mr Cummings accused the committee of having “greater interest in grandstanding than truth-seeking”.
He was subsequently found in contempt of parliament over his no-show.
What are his views on Brexit?
Mr Cummings has been a consistent critic of Theresa May’s handling of Brexit.
He previously branded her plans for leaving the EU as “unacceptable bulls***” and attacked a “truck load of c*** ideas” from government ministers, who he called “morons”.
Mr Cummings also argued against the government’s decision to trigger the Article 50 notification to leave the EU so soon after the 2016 referendum, calling it an “historic unforgivable blunder”.
In 2017, he branded then Brexit secretary David Davis “thick as mince, lazy as a toad, and vain as Narcissus”.
And, despite being the former chief of the Vote Leave campaign, Mr Cummings has been no more polite about the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteer MPs.
Earlier this year, he claimed the collective had been “useful idiots” for Remain.
Referring to the group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, he wrote in a blog: “You should be treated like a metastasising tumour and excised from the UK body politic.”
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