Dominic Cummings says it was a “hard decision” to help “clueless gaffe machine” Boris Johnson into Number 10.
Unloading his thoughts on Twitter, the PM’s former top aide said he’d based the choice on a combination of the risk of the second referendum campaign taking hold, not wanting Jeremy Corbyn to win the election and his chances of “roughly controlling” Mr Johnson.
He went on to say that he thought a second referendum would “see people killed and very dangerous loss of trust in democracy.”
In a series of tweets responding to the Tories drubbing in the Chesham and Amersham by-election, Mr Cummings turned his fire on “drones” in the media who he said had consistently misread political strategies.
Referring to the Tories’ refusal to submit Mr Johnson to a grilling by then-BBC interviewer Andrew Neil, he said “pundits” had called the decision “a huge blunder”.
He tweeted: “Me: why the f**k wd be put a gaffe machine clueless about policy & government up to be grilled for ages, upside=0 for what?! This is not a hard decision…
“Pundits don’t understand comms, power or management.”
He was later asked by Atlantic writer Helen Lewis whether it had been a hard decision “to take a job masterminding the election of a “gaffe machine clueless about policy & government” into Number 10” or whether he considered it a “huge campaign blunder”.
Mr Cummings replied: “Yes it was hard.
“I think the decision was probably right but depends on your view of 2REF/Corbyn/our % of roughly controlling BJ.”
He added that “reasonable ppl can disagree” on the risk of losing Brexit to a second vote and on whether he would have been able to “control” Mr Johnson.
But he added: “harder to disagree on JC I think…”
During a recent select committee appearance, Mr Cummings said the public being given a choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn was evidence of a system gone “extremely badly wrong.”