Exit is chance to restore trust between No 10 and MPs, one senior backbencher says
Conservative MPs have hailed Dominic Cummings’ departure from Downing Street, saying they hope it could mark a change of approach in No 10.
Following the resignation of Lee Cain as Boris Johnson’s head of communications, Cummings denied he would immediately follow his close ally and fellow veteran of the Vote Leave campaign out of the door.
Cummings told the BBC that “rumours of me threatening to resign are invented”. However, he also said his “position hasn’t changed since my January blog”.
In the 2 January post, which announced the intention to hire data scientists and “assorted weirdos” to work inside No 10, Cummings said the recruitment drive was intended to “improve performance and make me much less important – and within a year largely redundant”.
One source confirmed Cummings’ departure, saying he had “started talking about it a couple of months ago”. They said: “I think it was always predictable that there would be a big bust-up and Dom would leave. He’s done that in most jobs he’s been in.” [ . . . ]
The call came from Ed Vaizey, who until July was the minister for digital industries, and if heeded would require a major change in business models for fast-growing firms relying on self-employed contractors paid on a piecework basis.
They include companies such as the taxi app firm Uber, which has 40,000 drivers enrolled on its system in the UK, and delivery giant Hermes, which relies on 10,500 self-employed couriers to deliver parcels for retailers including John Lewis and Next. Neither currently guarantees workers the minimum wage.
Uber last week said it would appeal against an employment tribunal ruling that its drivers should not be classed as self-employed and so should receive the minimum wage. HM Revenue and Customs is also investigating whether Hermes couriers are wrongly classed as self-employed following an investigation by the Guardian that uncovered concerns some were earning below the £7.20 national living wage that is statutory for employees and workers aged 25 and over, but not the self-employed.