Dominic Cummings has admitted he thought Boris Johnson being Prime Minister was “terrible for the country”, but that he and “a few dozen” backers sought to use his premiership to their advantage.
The former de facto chief of staff in No 10 said he had found Mr Johnson to have “hopeless” traits after working with him during the 2016 Brexit referendum, but agreed after he entered Downing Street three years later to assist him.
But Mr Cummings, who left No 10 in the autumn after a power struggle, admitted he was now working to hasten the Prime Minister’s demise.
Asked on the BBC whether he was looking to “hasten” Mr Johnson’s departure from Downing Street, he said: “Certainly. The sooner he goes the better, for sure.”
In the hour-long broadcast, Mr Cummings said he had looked to “exploit” the situation the country found itself in after Mr Johnson took power.
“I think it is terrible for the country but I keep trying to stress, you’ve got to balance up the different possibilities,” he said.
“Is that (Mr Johnson being Prime Minister) objectively a good thing for the country? No, it is obviously objectively ludicrous, that’s why I’ve made the argument repeatedly for all kinds of political change.
“From a practical matter, all our options were bad, so it was, which is the least bad option? The least bad option seemed to be, exploit the current situation to try and push certain things through and get the country into a better position.”
Asked who was behind the decision to back Mr Johnson on the premise of securing Brexit, he replied: “Me and a network of people – some of us who did the Vote Leave campaign, some of us who did other things. A few dozen maybe.”
Mr Cummings also revealed that he considered a coup against Mr Johnson only “days” after the 2019 poll – during which he had helped him secure one of the largest general election wins in decades – due to fears the Conservative Party leader’s then-girlfriend, Carrie Johnson, was trying to oust Vote Leave personnel.
“Before even mid-January we were having meetings in Number 10 saying it’s clear that Carrie (Johnson) wants rid of all of us,” he said.
“At that point we were already saying by the summer either we’ll all have gone from here or we’ll be in the process of trying to get rid of him and get someone else in as prime minister.”