Dominic Cummings seen for first time since leaving Downing Street

Dominic Cummings has been seen for the first time since leaving Downing Street after leaving his role as the PM’s top adviser.

The former senior adviser came out of the basement of his home in Islington on Saturday afternoon before getting into a waiting car.

He refused to answer questions from journalists outside his home after leaving Number 10 Downing Street on Friday evening carrying a cardboard box of his belongings.

The prime minister’s right-hand man dramatically left his role after a power struggle that has rocked the administration ahead of crucial Brexit talks with Brussels before the transition period deadline of 31 December.

Mr Cummings’ fellow Vote Leave veteran Lee Cain resigned as Number 10’s communication chief just hours before the controversial adviser’s departure.

They are both believed to continue to be employed until mid-December but will work from home, with reports suggesting Mr Cummings will be working on mass testing.

The Daily Telegraph reported Mr Cummings was said to have told colleagues Mr Johnson was “indecisive” and that he and Mr Cain relied on Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove for clarity.

Tensions are believed to have been raised further after the prime minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, reportedly showed him “hostile texts” briefing against her that had been forwarded to her.

A number of Conservative backbenchers have urged Number 10 to use this as an opportunity to restore several important values within the party.

Senior Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said it was time to restore “respect, integrity and trust” to the relationship, elements which had been “lacking in recent months”.

Sir Edward Lister, who was deputy mayor of London for policy under Mr Johnson, has been appointed interim chief of staff pending a permanent appointment.

The prime minister’s official spokesman, James Slack, who will replace Mr Cain in the new year, insisted Mr Johnson would not be distracted by the row.

“What the prime minister and the government are focused upon is taking every possible step to get this country through the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

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