There are thousands of people who could run the country better that “completely out of depth” Boris Jonson, Dominic Cummings has said.
The prime minister’s former chief of staff told MPs that there were “profound” problems with the nature of the UK’s political system illustrated by the PM’s rise to power.
And Mr Cummings also said it was “crackers” that someone like himself should be able to rise to the top of government.
“I think there’s a very profound question about the nature of our political system. That means that we got at the last election a choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson,” he said.
“I think any system which ends up giving a choice between two people like that, as the people to lead is obviously a system that’s gone extremely, extremely badly wrong.
“There’s so many thousands and thousands of wonderful people in this country who could provide better leadership than either of those two, and there’s obviously something terribly wrong with the political parties, if that’s the best that they can do.”
The comments came at an explosive joint meeting of the Commons health and technology committees, where Mr Cummings lambasted the government’s approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Cummings helped Mr Johnson get elected and has been allied with since the EU referendum.
He continued: “In any sensible rational government it is completely crazy that I should have been in such a senior position, in my personal opinion.
“I’m not smart, I’ve not built great things in the world, it’s just completely crackers that someone like me should have been in there, just the same as it was cracker that Boris Johnson was in there and that the choice of the last election was Jeremy Corbyn.
“It’s also the case that there are wonderful people inside the civil service – there are brilliant officials all over the place – but the system tends to weed them out from senior management jobs. “
Arguing that the government’s response was characterised “very much lions led by donkeys”, the ex-aide said there were “great people further down the hierarchy who did brilliant things, but the leadership, people like me, and the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health, we let down the people on the frontline”.
Arguing that politicians were “incentivised to play to the media” and officials were “incentivised to keep their heads down and to follow process”, he concluded: “We all should be asking, you guys in the political parties need to ask yourselves, what is it about your parties that give choices like Johnson versus Corbyn, and we have to ask what is it about Whitehall that promotes so many senior people who are completely out of their depth.”
Source: The independent