Dominic Cummings: the abrasive Vote Leave architect to advise Boris Johnson

PA

A Brexit battle bus daubed with much-criticised claims, being found in contempt of Parliament after refusing to appear before MPs investigating misinformation and calling David Davis "thick as mince".

Those are some of the controversies and caustic remarks surrounding Dominic Cummings, the combative architect of the Vote Leave campaign who Boris Johnson is expected to appoint as a senior adviser.

Born in Durham and educated at Oxford University, he rose to notoriety in politics first as an adviser to Michael Gove and then as campaign director at the official Brexit group.

Many will know him for being portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in a Channel 4 drama, as well as his role in covering a red bus with the £350 million NHS claim.

That, or the contempt finding in March for failing to appear before MPs investigating so-called fake news.

He will have play a closer role working with politicians in Westminster in the team of the new prime minister, who has pledged to "unite" the nation and deliver Brexit.

After advising the Tory leader's on-off friend Mr Gove, Mr Cummings played mastermind at Vote Leave in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum.

Mr Cummings has been credited as creating the "take back control" slogan and criticised over the figure advertised on the side of the bus travelling the country.

Boris Johnson becomes PM
Boris Johnson becomes PM

He would later say that pledge was "necessary to win".

The campaign group was also fined £61,000 for breaking the rules in the build-up to the vote.

Credited as a genius and a maverick by many, he is the subject of ire by many others.

He was once labelled a "career psychopath" by former prime minister David Cameron, according to widely-reported remarks.

But Mr Cummings is no stranger to an insult either.

David Davis
David Davis

He described Mr Davis, then the Brexit secretary, as "thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus" in July 2017.

And, earlier this year, he criticised a "narcissist-delusional subset" of the influential European Research Group (ER) which he said needed to be "excised" like a "metastasising tumour".

Chairman Damian Collins accused him of having show a "total disregard" for Parliament's authority for failing to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Mr Cummings is also known for clashing with officials and politicians when an education adviser to Mr Gove in the coalition government.

His appointment may surprise some because Mr Johnson will need the support of Brexit hardliners to deliver his "do or die" pledge to get the UK out of the EU by October 31.

But clearly he believes Mr Cummings' abrasive style will help him succeed.