Dominic Cummings launched a fresh attack on Boris Johnson yesterday, claiming he wanted to spend his time writing a lucrative book while ‘pretending’ to be Prime Minister.
The former chief aide said Mr Johnson wanted to work on a book about Shakespeare to raise the large sums needed for his ‘very expensive’ divorce – and because he was ‘bored’ with being Prime Minister.
Writing on his blog, Mr Cummings said it was hypocritical for Mr Johnson to ‘have a go at MPs’ over the issue of second jobs ‘given all his own outside earnings’.
Last night, No 10 strongly denied the claims, insisting they were ‘not true’.
It came as Mr Johnson’s former lover Petronella Wyatt launched an extraordinary attack on him over the latest Tory sleaze allegations.
The journalist and author, who had an affair with him two decades ago, said he was like ‘an increasingly bent copper on the beat’ who sympathises with other rule-breakers.
Dominic Cummings launched a fresh attack on Boris Johnson yesterday, claiming he wanted to spend his time writing a lucrative book while ‘pretending’ to be Prime Minister
It also emerged yesterday that Mr Johnson had earned more than £4million from outside interests over the past 14 years while London mayor and in Parliament. The Financial Times revealed that after he re-entered Parliament in 2015 he made £1.6million, mostly during his brief spell as a backbencher in 2018 and 2019.
His earnings included £450,000 from speeches, £600,000 from columns and £500,000 from book advances and royalties. In mid-2015, when Mr Johnson was London mayor, he signed a deal with Hodder and Stoughton to write the book for a reported £500,000. Publication has repeatedly been put back.
Mr Cummings wrote on his blog yesterday that Mr Johnson asked him a month after winning the December 2019 election whether ‘it’s OK if I spend a lot of time writing my Shakespeare book’.
He said the Prime Minister said: ‘This f****** divorce, very expensive. And this job. It’s like getting up every morning pulling a 747 down the runway.
‘I love writing, I love it, I want to write my Shakespeare book.’
Mr Cummings claimed that he replied: ‘I think people expect you to be doing the PM’s job, I wouldn’t talk to people about this if I were you.’
The former aide wrote: ‘Within a month of the election he was bored with the PM job and wanted to get back to what he loves while shaking down the publishers for some extra cash.
‘In February as Covid spread he was in Chevening writing about Shakespeare and messaging No 10 that Covid was “the new swine flu”.
‘So WTF is he doing having a go at MPs given all his own outside earnings – and attempted outside earnings and illegal secret donations, while he’s supposed to be pretending to be PM?!’
Miss Wyatt was deputy editor of The Spectator while Mr Johnson was its editor in the early 2000s.
He was sacked from Michael Howard’s shadow cabinet after it emerged that he had lied about their affair.
In an article for The Sun, she wrote: ‘Like many great showmen, Boris can be a charlatan. He can no more avoid it than he can avoid blinking his eyes.’
The former chief aide said Mr Johnson wanted to work on a book about Shakespeare to raise the large sums needed for his ‘very expensive’ divorce – and because he was ‘bored’ with being Prime Minister
She accused him of surrounding himself with a Cabinet of ‘Lilliputians’ and aides like the cast of St Trinian’s, writing: ‘I am no longer sure that anything can be salvaged from the scrapheap of the man I once knew and liked.’
She said she believed Red Wall Tory MPs will not forget being asked to save Owen Paterson, harming their own credibility with their voters.
‘You must now get a grip, Boris – on yourself and on No 10,’ she wrote.
‘Otherwise the prognosis is worrying. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Queen has asked to be kept informed.’
Miss Wyatt added: ‘I always thought it would be sleaze, not sex, that would be Boris Johnson’s downfall.
‘Unless he quickly pulls himself together, what began as the Owen Paterson affair may be duly marked by historians as the moment my old friend descended too deeply into the mud of the political crossroads.’
Source: Daily Mail