John McDonnell brands new chancellor Rishi Sunak 'Dominic Cummings' stooge'

Will Taylor
News Reporter
The new chancellor has been branded a 'stooge' of Dominic Cummings, left, by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, right (PA)

A senior Labour politician has branded Sajid Javid’s replacement Rishi Sunak as a “stooge” that signifies a win for Boris Johnson’s powerful adviser Dominic Cummings.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, tweeted the remarks after branding the government as being in “chaos”.

Javid’s departure as chancellor came amid a flurry of reports that he had been told to sack his advisors to stay in the job, and quit after refusing.

Cummings, the former Vote Leave chief who is now the prime minister’s top adviser, has drawn a lot of media attention since arriving at Downing Street.

Admired by many Brexiteers and vilified by Remainers, Cummings has proven divisive in the corridors of power, too.

Former PM David Cameron branded Cummings a “career psychopath”, the latter having been an advisor to his then-education secretary Michael Gove.

Tensions between Number 10 and the Treasury rose in August 2019 when Cummings effectively sacked Javid aide Sonia Khan.

Javid then reportedly suggested Cummings should be sacked on the eve of the December 2019 election, fearing the Tories had only won a small majority.

Reports have framed Javid’s departure as the culmination, then, of the “battle” between Cummings and the ex-chancellor that McDonnell tweeted about.

It has also been suggested that Javid did not want to work as part of a combined prime minister’s office-Treasury team to drive the government’s programme.

Other Labour politicians piled on, with Angela Eagle claiming the next chancellor will “meekly” do as they’re told, and Tottenham MP David Lammy questioning who was in charge at Number 10.

Having announced he will step back from frontline politics when Jeremy Corbyn leaves as leader, McDonnell will be gearing up for the next month’s budget.

Javid’s departure as chancellor has come just weeks before its is due to be presented on 11 March.