Cummings claims Johnson tried to halt the “chatty rat” inquiry – because it would cause him “serious problems” with Symonds

23 Apr

Here is a link to Dominic Cummings’ blog post of this afternoon, and below is our summary of some of his main claims.


  • Re the Dyson leak, Cummings has messages from Dyson to the Prime Minister on his mobile phone, but that they’re about “ventilators, bureaucracy and covid policy — not tax issues”.

Chatty Rat

  • Re the lockdown “chatty rat” leak, Johnson mulled stopping the leak inquiry after being told by Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, that Henry Newman, a friend of Carrie Symonds, and now a senior Spad to the Prime Minister, was responsible.
  • Civil servants “would give evidence to this effect under oath to any inquiry. I also have WhatsApp messages with very senior officials about this matter which are definitive”.

Downing Street flat wallpaper

  • “I thought his plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation were unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations if conducted in the way he intended. I refused to help him organise these payments.”

Newcastle United

  • Cummings doesn’t refer at all to messages to and from the Prime Minister on his mobile phone about the bid by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, for Newcastle United.


  • He is “happy to meet with the Cabinet Secretary and for him to search my phone for Dyson messages”.
  • He is “happy to tell the Cabinet Secretary or Electoral Commission what I know” about the Downing Street flat wallpaper.
  • I have made the offer to hand over some private text messages, even though I am under no legal obligation to do so…this does not mean that I will answer every allegation made by No10″.
  • An urgent Parliamentary inquiry is required “into the government’s conduct over the covid crisis which ought to take evidence from all key players under oath and have access to documents”.

ConHome snapshot take

  • That the Prime Minister sought to halt a leak inquiry isn’t necessarily serious in itself, but more details may come to light that are – since the inquiry hasn’t reported, as far as we know, yet the leak itself took place last November. What’s happened to it since?
  • Cummings clearly believes he can prove that he was not responsible for either the “chatty rat” or Dyson leaks.
  • He is silent on the Newcastle United leak, and is willing to hand over “some private text messages” [our italic].  He shouldn’t be surprised if others draw the conclusion that in this case he was responsible.
  • Cummings is seeking to cause maximum damage not only to Johnson, who he is seeking to present as under the thumb of his partner, but also to Symonds herself, and to Henry Newman, her friend and a member of the Number Ten faction associated with her.  Our guide to the various groups is here.