Watchdog offers Dominic Cummings dressing down after consultancy software

Dominic Cummings has applied for paid work since leaving Downing Street in late 2020

Dominic Cummings has applied for paid work since leaving Downing Street in late 2020

Dominic Cummings was punished again for failing to comply with the Whitehall Protocol in his attempt to build a career after exiting No. 10.

The former Downing Street advisor was accused in July of breaking the rules governing high-ranking officials accepting paid work after leaving government.

And now the post watchdog for appointments from Mr Cummings has refused to give the advice he needs before starting a new advisory role after accusing him of responding to his initial criticism.

Lord Pickles, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), said in July that Boris Johnson’s former chief advisor failed to notify the panel through a paid blog he started on the Substack website.

The watchdog is supposed to review any appointment of ministers or senior officials for possible conflicts of interest within two years of their departure.

The question about Mr Cummings’ career after the number 10 came back after he requested permission from the Cabinet Office to accept a counseling service despite a letter from Acoba, despite the fact that the work was being edited for whom.

Acoba has refused to offer advice on Mr Cummings’ latest proposal as he has not yet responded to the previous admonition to set up his blog, which subscribers pay £ 10 a month to read details about his time with the Prime Minister.

In a letter to the Cabinet Office, Committee Secretariat Cat Marshall said, “The Cabinet Office has submitted Mr. Cummings’ completed request for consultation (edited).

“The committee understands that this work is advice to be carried out as part of a consultancy offering services that overlap with those that Mr. Cummings is already advertising online without first seeking advice from the committee .

“This failure to seek and await the advice of the committee was a breach of the rules that was reported to the Cabinet Office in July.

“Mr. Cummings did not reply to the committee’s correspondence regarding the violation of the rules.”

She added: “This request for consultation (edited) relates directly to his previous violation of the rules and, as a consequence, the committee refuses to provide advice on that occasion.”

Since posting his blog earlier this year, Mr Cummings has used it to launch a series of devastating attacks on Mr Johnson and his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It followed his bitter departure from No. 10 last November after an internal power struggle with Prime Minister’s then-fiancé Carrie Symonds, who has since married Mr Johnson.