Cummings to continue working for PM until mid-December

The Prime Minister's chief adviser Dominic Cummings has left Downing Street following days of in-fighting at Number 10.

The controversial aide was seen leaving Number 10 carrying boxes on Friday evening amid reports he had quit his post with immediate effect.

The PA news agency understands both he and Lee Cain, who resigned as communications chief, will still be employed until the middle of next month. However, reports suggested Mr Cummings would be working from home on projects such as mass testing.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box, following reports that he is set to leave his position by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box, following reports that he is set to leave his position by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box, following reports that he is set to leave his position by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box, following reports that he is set to leave his position by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box, following reports that he is set to leave his position by the end of the year.
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in London on November 13, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings is set to leave his position by early 2021, as a power struggle at the heart of government became public this week. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in London on November 13, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings is set to leave his position by early 2021, as a power struggle at the heart of government became public this week. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London following reports that he is set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London following reports that he is set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London following reports that he is set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in London on November 13, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings is set to leave his position by early 2021, as a power struggle at the heart of government became public this week. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings arrives in Downing Street, London, following reports that he is set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London following reports that he is set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings arrives in Downing Street, London, the morning after Lee Cain announced he is resigning as Downing Street's director of communications and will leave the post at the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London the morning after the announcement that Lee Cain is resigning as Downing Street's director of communications and will leave the post at the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London the morning after the announcement that Lee Cain is resigning as Downing Street's director of communications and will leave the post at the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London for a second time the morning after the announcement that Lee Cain is resigning as Downing Street's director of communications and will leave the post at the end of the year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top aide Dominic Cummings leaves his home in north London following reports that he is set to leave his Downing Street position by the end of the year.
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings (R) and government advisor Cleo Watson arrive in Downing street in London on November 13, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings is set to leave his position by early 2021, as a power struggle at the heart of government became public this week. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings is portrayed as a scheming villain by 'Spitting Image' puppet creators. (Avalon/BritBox)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings arrives in Downing Street ahead of a cabinet meeting on September 1, 2020 in London, England. MPs returned to Westminster today following the summer recess. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings, the chief advisor to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, chats to a police officer after moving his car in Downing Street, London, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Dominic Cummings, adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his London home on July 18, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he arrives at his house in London following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, makes a statement at 10 Downing Street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 25, 2020. Jonathan Brady/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves his house in London, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Senior aide to the prime minister Dominic Cummings leaves following a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London.
Dominic Cummings, Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister, arrives in Downing Street, London.
Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, arrives in Downing Street, London.
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings arrives at 10 Downing Street in central London on December 16, 2019. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed Saturday to repay the trust of former opposition voters who gave his Conservatives a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union next month. Johnson toured a leftist bastion once represented by former Labour leader Tony Blair in a bid to show his intent to unite the country after years of divisions over Brexit. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's key adviser Dominic Cummings leaving his north London home following yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle. (Photo by David Mirzoeff/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings says cartoon superheroes PJ Masks could do better job than current cabinet
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings, left, leave 10 Downing Street in London, and get in a car together to go to the Houses of Parliament, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it's Parliament's fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31. The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, 2020, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Dominic Cummings, a senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends the book launch of Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics by Stuart Wheeler at Carlton House Terrace, London.
Sacked aide launches unfair dismissal claim after Dominic Cummings had her frogmarched out of Downing Street
Call for Dominic Cummings to appear before parliamentary committee
Rishi Sunak could find decisions on economic policy being made in 10 Downing Street under Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings.
Dominic Cummings, a senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends the book launch of Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics by Stuart Wheeler at Carlton House Terrace, London.
Senior political aide Dominic Cummings speaks to Stuart Wheeler, at his book launch for Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics, at Carlton House Terrace, London.
Dominic Cummings, a senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, attends the book launch of Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics by Stuart Wheeler at Carlton House Terrace, London.
Stuart Wheeler (left) with Dominic Cummings at the book launch of Winning Against the Odds: My Life in Gambling and Politics by Stuart Wheeler at Carlton House Terrace, London.
Pro remain campaigner Steve Bray interviews Dominic Cummings as he arrives at the Cabinet office in London,United Kingdom on 22nd August 2019. (photo by Claire Doherty/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings arrives in Downing Street, London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his senior aid Dominic Cummings as they leave Downing Street, central London.
Senior aide to the prime minister Dominic Cummings, in Downing Street in Westminster, London.
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London, Britain, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London, Britain, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leaves his home in London, Britain, August 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 7: Dominic Cummings, special advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at 10 Downing Street on August 7, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Number 10 Chief of Staff Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street in central London on August 2, 2019. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
EMBARGOED TO 2330 THURSDAY AUGUST 6 File photo dated 21/07/20 of senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, whose trip to Durham at the height of lockdown while suffering from Covid-19 drastically undermined public trust in the Government�s handling of the pandemic, according to new research.
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Sir Edward Lister was announced as the interim chief of staff pending a permanent appointment.

The news came amid a bitter power struggle over the past few days, which started with the resignation of Mr Cummings's fellow Vote Leave veteran Mr Cain on Wednesday.

On Thursday night, Mr Cummings insisted to the BBC that "rumours of me threatening to resign are invented" after it was suggested he would exit in protest over the treatment of Mr Cain.

But Mr Cummings also said his "position hasn't changed since my January blog" in which he said he hoped to be "largely redundant" by 2021.

The Sun reported there was a "shouty" confrontation between Boris Johnson and Mr Cummings over the ousting of Mr Cain and that a "livid" Prime Minister wanted both out "sooner rather than later".

The BBC reported that Mr Cummings' departure had been brought forward given the "upset in the team" and that the PM wanted to "clear the air and move on".

Tory backbenchers urged Number 10 to use the exit of the aide – whose mid-lockdown trip to Durham cemented his notoriety – as an opportunity to restore the values of "respect, integrity and trust".

Sir Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Commons Liaison Committee, 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.

"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.

"Nobody is indispensable."

Gavin Barwell, former chief of staff to then prime minister Theresa May, said Mr Cummings's departure was a "big moment".

He tweeted: "Boris now has an opportunity to get a more harmonious, effective Downing Street operation (like he had at City Hall); improve relations with the parliamentary party; and lead a less confrontational, more unifying government that better reflects his own character."

Highly publicised in-fighting at the heart of Government led to Mr Cain's resignation on Wednesday.

He had been offered the post of chief of staff but a backlash among Tories and Mr Johnson's inner circle sealed his departure.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth highlighted the strain being heaped on the NHS and the public by Covid-19 while "Downing Street is paralysed by the soap opera of these self-indulgent spin doctors".

He added: "It's pathetic."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman, James Slack, who will replace Mr Cain when he leaves in the new year, continued to insist that Mr Johnson is not being distracted from the national crisis by the row.

"What the Prime Minister and the Government are focused upon is taking every possible step to get this country through the coronavirus pandemic," he said

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