Mr Cummings left his job at Number 10 Downing Street after it was reported he lost a huge power struggle engulfing the Cabinet. Initially, he was supposed to leave by the end of the year but it is believed his resignation was brought forward by a “shouty row”. The Brexit guru chose to exit through the front door past waiting photographers carrying a cardboard box full of his possessions last Thursday.
The former Vote Leave boss – who shot to political fame working on the Brexit campaign in 2016 – confirmed his departure late after losing a key ally in spin doctor Lee Cain.
The Tory campaigner is known for his aggressive style and has long caused tensions in Government, wanting to overhaul the civil service and shake up crusty Whitehall departments.
Mr Johnson is now under pressure to bring in “someone with big boy pants” to get a grip of Number 10.
However, according to Lee Rotherham, the former director of Special Projects at Vote Leave, it will not be an easy task.
Boris Johnson has ‘set back civil service reform by a DECADE’ with Dominic Cummings row
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Mr Rotherham argued that Mr Cummings’ departure is going to set back the much-needed civil service reform by at least a decade.
He told Express.co.uk: “My own take is that he [Dominic Cummings] should have been more narrowly tasked to shake up the broken parts of the civil service.
“The danger now is that critically-necessary reform of failing departments, needed to fully exploit the advantages of Brexit globally, has been set back a decade.”
After 13 months working at the most famous address in British politics, Mr Cummings left Downing Street and moved his office into 70 Whitehall at the end of October.
The moment passed without political hysteria – but the motivations behind it go to the heart of what the Brexit guru wanted to achieve.
With the move, Mr Cummings was hoping to exert more influence across Whitehall’s numerous departments.
In a 2014 entry for his blog, the former chief adviser explained why Westminster is one of the most “dysfunctional organisations” in need of radical change.
He made the example of someone with a startup mentality straying into the bureaucratic world being immediately expelled and treated like an “intruder”.
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Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings
He wrote: “This is one of the reasons why young talented people who want to get things done more than they want to get ahead – they want ‘to do’ rather than ‘to be’ – soon leave the civil service.
“This in turn explains why bureaucracies are the way they are – they filter out people with a startup approach so the dominant culture at senior levels is so distasteful for someone with a startup mentality that they leave and the institution becomes even harder to change.
“If your entire institutional structure selects against the skills of entrepreneurs or scientists, do not be surprised when the people in charge cannot solve problems like entrepreneurs or scientists.”
Moreover, Mr Cummings noted why officials in Number 10 are not incentivised to avoid embarrassment for the department.
He said: “Most officials have been through a cycle of a parliament, usually including quite a few different ministers.
“They know that disaster, cockup, failure, humiliation, and firing of ministers is normal.
“They also know that it rarely puts the slightest dent in their day – never mind their career.
“Many times, we would be leading the news with ‘Gove’s incompetence denounced’ headlines while the lead official for the issue would be spotted pottering home at 4 o’clock, entirely unperturbed.
“Officials are incentivised to avoid embarrassment for other officials – but embarrassment for ministers is quite another matter, and is often quite handy.
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“After all, a minister weakened is a minister more easily controlled.”
Officials in the civil service, Mr Cummings added, are not incentivised to cut red tape or to save money.
Apart from the obvious fact that in bureaucracies people do not think about saving money the way startups do, he noted, there is also the problem that almost nobody in Whitehall can remember the last time they had to make real cuts.
He concluded: “If you have worked in small businesses (as I have) it is striking how in Whitehall there is no similar mentality about reducing costs.
“This brings us to a fundamental issue. If they are not incentivised to devise good policy, implement it effectively and rapidly, save taxpayers money and so on – what are they incentivised to do?
“The answer? Obsess on process.
“In his new book, the legendary venture capitalist Peter Thiel writes: ‘In the most dysfunctional organisations, signalling that work is being done becomes a better strategy for career advancement than actually doing work (if this describes your company, you should quit now).’”
According to former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell, the effects of Mr Cummings’ work in Westminster are already visible.
Former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell
He told Express.co.uk: “Clearly one of the problems every government since Tony Blair has suffered is a lack of strategic cohesion at the centre.
“This means you have got Downing Street, the Cabinet office next to it and then the Treasury.
“But we have already started seeing a bit of strategic cohesion.
“There is now a team from Downing Street and the Treasury working together.”
He added: “We are also starting to see the new civil service chief Alex Chisholm coming in and looking at how we manage civil servants.
“There is no point in just blaming the civil service.
“Why don’t civil servants in the UK have the skills that other civil servants around the world have?
“In terms of project management, in terms of financial management?
“We are starting to see that reform within the civil service.
“I think it is encouraging. If you get strategic cohesion and competence at the same time, you will start seeing the effects of that.”