Why Dominic Cummings wants to thwart a Donald Trump comeback

Former No. 10 adviser publishes plan to squeeze former president out of 2024 election campaign

Dominic Cummings leaves his London home
(Image credit: Luke Dray/Getty Images)

Dominic Cummings is appealing for cash from Silicon Valley billionaires to fund his blueprint for stopping the “comic-horror sequel” of a second Donald Trump presidency.

Writing on his subscriber-only blog, the former Vote Leave campaigner said a “tiny and cheap” investment of £1.5m to £2m could beat Trump in Republican party primaries, beat the Democrats and deliver a president who would abolish the Pentagon and much of the federal government.

“He cited Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt as among the few presidents able to control the government,” The Times reported. To find a worthy successor, he urged Republican scouts to scour swing states for candidates with the charisma and executive skills to shake up “permanent bureaucracies”.

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Drawing parallels between Trump and Boris Johnson, Cummings wrote of the former US president that: “His insecurities mean he can’t face his lack of skills and trust/empower anyone to build the team to run the administration for him”.

He added that Trump “prefers to spend his time babbling about and at the media rather than the (often mind-numbing) problems of institutions and incentives you need to focus on to change big things”.

This is not the first time Cummings has criticised Trump. He told MPs in May that the former president distracted the British government from emergency Covid-19 meetings in early 2020 by abruptly asking the country to join airstrikes on Iraq.

Cummings’ return to the spotlight has reopened speculation on his next move after he left Downing Street last November.

Reports had speculated that Cummings would be offered the job to lead Britain’s first £800m defence research agency, with a source telling the Financial Times that he might “become the first head of his pet project: a new high-risk, high-reward scientific research body based on the Darpa agency in the US”.

Meanwhile, a government insider told the Daily Mail that Cummings could earn millions as a consultant advising businesses on Brexit, the Covid crisis and gaining access to Whitehall. “Dom could make a fortune as a consultant,” they said, with The Guardian agreeing that he could land “lucrative consultancy work” for hedge funds.

Or he could move into artificial intelligence (AI), with his friend Marc Warner’s company Faculty. A former colleague told The Guardian: “Dom... is still fascinated by data and the possibilities of AI. Plus, it would enhance that image of himself as a cutting-edge maverick.”

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.