DOMINIC Cummings dramatically quit No10 tonight after losing the huge power struggle that has engulfed Downing Street.
The Brexit guru, who had originally planned to leave in the New Year, chose to exit through the front door past waiting photographers carrying a cardbox box full of his possessions.
A No10 spokesman refused to comment publicaly on tonight’s reports.
But they said: “The Prime Minister has today asked Sir Edward Lister to take on the role of chief of staff for an interim period pending a permanent appointment to the post.”
It’s understood that Mr Cummings and Mr Cain will continue to work for the PM and No10 in some form until mid-December – essentially being put on gardening leave.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky earlier of Mr Cummings: “he’ll be missed… but advisers come and go.”
Today MPs came out to say it was right he was going – and called for a fresh approach in No10.
One gleeful Tory said: “goodbye and good riddance”.
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said: “Boris Johnson’s most senior advisers are abandoning the Prime Minister like rats on a sinking ship – just as the UK faces a devastating extreme Brexit, a second wave of coronavirus, and a growing Tory unemployment crisis.”
Labour MPs were jubilant, with Rupa Huq saying at the news: “Rejoice rejoice”.
Darren Jones raged: “Imaging causing so much damage to the country and then having the audacity to leave via the front door, in the knowledge you’ll be photographed walking away from the carnage you caused without any accountability whatsoever.”
And Jess Phillips joked: “Only in films do people leaving their jobs carry a box with a plant pot in it.”
The divisive figure was instrumental in the Brexit campaign and went on to be hired by Boris to deliver it following his rise to PM in 2019.
The Tory campaigner is known for his aggressive style – and was played by Benedict Cumberbatch in a Channel 4 drama about the referendum.
But Mr Cummings has long caused tensions in Government, wanting to overhaul the civil service and shake up crusty Whitehall departments.
His departure comes seven months after he caused uproar by bending lockdown rules to travel to be near his family while ill with coronavirus.
He was slammed by MPs and the public after driving hundreds of miles while sick – in case he and wife Mary Wakefield were unable to take care of him.
Later Mr Cummings was blasted for taking a trip out to check his eyesight was OK to drive back down to London, once the pair had recovered, but still during the strict lockdown.
Following the news Tory MPs demanded a reset to relations in No10, and the inner workings of Government.
Relations between MPs and some of the PM’s top team are at rock bottom after a chaotic pandemic and months of bubbling rebellion.
Senior Tory backbencher Sir Bernard Jenkin told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s an opportunity to reset how the Government operates and to emphasise some values about what we want to project as a Conservative Party in Government.”
And he said it is time to restore “respect, integrity and trust” which he said have been “lacking in recent months” between No 10 and Tory MPs.
“I’m not surprised in a way that it is ending in the way it is. No prime minister can afford a single adviser to become a running story, dominating his Government’s communications and crowding out the proper messages the Government wants to convey,” Sir Bernard said.
“Nobody is indispensable.”
Theresa Villiers said Dominic Cummings’ departure from No 10 will be “a good opportunity for a fresh start”.
The former environment secretary told the PA news agency: “Clearly there are concerns about the dismissive attitude sometimes shown by Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings towards people in Government and MPs on the backbenches.
“And this is an opportunity to move on from that and to have a more collaborative approach.”
And one senior Tory MP told MailOnline that the PM didn’t know what to do with the top job now he was in it – and didn’t see him sticking around.
They said: “I think he is a bit like Gordon Brown. I want it, I’ve got it, I don’t know what to do with it. I think he’s knackered.
“I have spoken to three Cabinet members recently, all of whom at the beginning of this session thought he would be there for 10 years. Now they say he will be there 10 months.”
Asked whether Mr Johnson would fight the next election, another MP said: “Good God, no.”
Bookmaker Coral makes the PM odds on, at 4-6, to not lead the Conservative Party at the next General Election.
Ex-aide seals ‘up to £100k’ settlement deal after being sacked by Cummings
By Kate Ferguson
A FEMALE government aide sacked by Dominic Cummings and frogmarched out of Downing Street by cops has been given a five figure pay-out.
Former Treasury spinner Sonia Khan was sensationally fired after being accused of staying in touch with her ex-boss Philip Hammond.
Her dramatic sacking sparked a ferocious backlash from Tory MPs, who were furious at the way the young aide had been treated.
Ms Khan had threatened to sue the government and haul the No10 team into what would have been a blockbuster employment tribunal.
But she reached an out of court settlement of up to £100,000 with Downing Street.
The move means Mr Cummings and other No10 bosses will escape being grilled on their conduct by a judge.
The Sun understands that Ms Khan was given a five figure pay-out.
In a statement, she said: “Following 14 months of negotiation, I have today reached a settlement with the Treasury, my former employer, and as a result I am no longer pursuing my employment tribunal claim which was due to be heard in London in December.”
She added: “Having reached a settlement of these issues I am now moving on with my life and career. “I have a fulfilling job as a consultant, I maintain great affection for the Conservative Party and remain a committed Conservative.
“The party took me under its wing when I was a teen and I feel hugely privileged to have served as a special adviser under the last two Prime Ministers.”
Yesterday the PM’s team were accused of fighting “like rats in a sack” on the day it should have been responding to the highest number of Covid cases ever recorded.
Mr Johnson is now under pressure to bring in “someone with big boy pants” to get a grip of No10.
The turf war follows the dramatic resignation of his top PR man Mr Cain in a bitter power struggle between aides and his fiancé Carrie Symonds.
Mr Cain, who wanted more powers, was enraged by Allegra Stratton’s appointment to be the new face of No10 at daily White House style TV briefings.
A compromise idea of making Mr Cain the boss of all No10 staff sparked a backlash from senior female aides including Ms Stratton, backed by pal Ms Symonds.
Some senior Tories said the PM should ease him on his way on of the door.
“Members of parliament have felt excluded from the decision-making process, and that’s no secret,” he added.
And Jake Berry, an old ally of Mr Johnson who leads a group of 50 Northern tory MPs, said: “As we go past that grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from this appalling disease, it’s high time that there was a bit of a change of guard in No 10.”
Sir Roger Gale MP warned: “A PM, particularly one facing the difficulties Mr Johnson is facing, needs heavyweight help. It really is time that Downing Street got in place somebody with big boy pants on.”
Last night Labour claimed Government infighting was hampering the fight against Covid.
A spokesman said: “Boris Johnson’s Government is fighting like rats in a sack over who gets what job. It is precisely this lack of focus and rank incompetence that has held Britain back.”
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