PM 'should take back control from Cummings', says former minister

Former Tory minister warns Boris Johnson will never overcome the north-south divide if he allows Dominic Cummings too much power

  • George Freeman will warn Boris he will never succeed in ‘levelling up’ country
  • Mr Freeman will make his incendiary comments in response to today’s Budget
  • Dominic Cummings criticised for his top-down approach to government

A former minister will today warn Boris Johnson that he will never succeed in ‘levelling up’ the country if he allows Dominic Cummings too much power.

George Freeman, who chaired Theresa May’s policy board, will say the Tory dream of regeneration and removing regional inequalities will succeed only if the Prime Minister ends the ‘command and control approach’ that has bedevilled successive governments.

He will say: ‘When people voted to take back control they didn’t expect it all to end up in the hands of Dominic Cummings.’ 

Freeman, who was sacked as transport minister in last month’s Cabinet reshuffle, will make his incendiary comments in response to today’s Budget.

Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, has come in for mounting criticism over his top-down approach to government, including his insistence that he vet all ministers’ special advisers – or ‘spads’

Mr Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, has come in for mounting criticism over his top-down approach to government, including his insistence that he vet all ministers’ special advisers – or ‘spads’.

Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor last month rather than accept Mr Cummings’ demand that the Treasury and No 10 spad teams be merged.

Mr Freeman will say: ‘The new government is right to focus on the urgency of ‘levelling up’ for people and places left behind.

‘But lasting regeneration requires devolution and empowerment, an end to government funding in narrow silos and an end to the command and control approach which has bedevilled successive Governments. We cannot afford to get this wrong again.’

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