'I'd rather the Tories lose!' Sunak wanted 'secret deal' with Cummings to defeat Labour

'I'd rather the Tories lose!' Sunak wanted 'secret deal' with Cummings to defeat Labour

Dominic Cummings gives evidence to the Covid Inquiry

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 30/12/2023

- 21:12

Updated: 30/12/2023

- 21:18

The ex-Number 10 aide met with the Prime Minister twice since December 2022

Rishi Sunak wanted to hatch a "secret deal" with Dominic Cummings to defeat Labour at the next general election, the ex-Vote Leave campaigner has claimed.

Cummings, 52, urged the Prime Minister to abandon his cautious economic approach, hold an emergency budget, settle the NHS strikes and double the threshold at which people pay the 40p rate of income tax to £100,000.

The former Brexit campaigner also advocated leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, The Sunday Times has claimed.

The ECHR has been identified as a significant legal barrier to Britain dealing with illegal Channel crossings and Cummings has publicly spoken about how he would look to run a referendum campaign on the matter.

Rishi Sunak (left) and Dominic Cummings (right)

Rishi Sunak (left) and Dominic Cummings (right)


Downing Street refused to reject Cummings' account but claimed no job offer was made.

A Number 10 source said: “It was a broad discussion about politics and campaigning, no job was offered.”

Sunak reportedly met Cummings in December last year in London and in July in North Yorkshire.

Cummings said: “He wanted a secret deal in which I delivered the election and he promised to take government seriously after the election.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his political advisor Dominic Cummings leave 10 Downing Street on October 28, 2019 in LondonPrime Minister Boris Johnson and his political advisor Dominic Cummings leave 10 Downing Street on October 28, 2019 in LondonGETTY

“But I’d rather the Tories lose than continue in office without prioritising what’s important and the voters.

“The post-2016 Tories are summed up by the fact that Sunak, like Johnson, would rather lose than take government seriously.

"Both thought their MPs agreed with them, and both were right.”

However, the supposed deal seemingly fell through over whether Sunak could commit to prioritising the "most critical things", including nuclear weapons infrastructure, pandemics, Ministry of Defence procurement, artificial intelligence (AI) and “broken core Government institutions”.

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak


In a subsequent post on social media, Cummings added: "Don’t know why someone at No10 blabbed about this but… Brief statement on Times story about the PM asking me to smash Labour and win the election, what I asked for in return (e.g sorting out the horrorshow of our nuclear weapons infrastructure, pandemic defences), & why we couldn’t do a deal."

Cummings spectacularly fell out with Boris Johnson after losing a power struggle between the Vote Leave faction and allies of the former Prime Minister's wife Carrie Symonds in autumn 2020.

He claimed discussions were afoot to remove Johnson from Number 10 within days of the 2019 general election.

Johnson's relationship with Sunak, who served as his Chancellor during the pandemic, crumbled when the now-Prime Minister led the Cabinet cabal which ultimately ousted him from power.

Keir StarmerKeir Starmer is under pressure over his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflictPA

Sunak has since been accused by Johnson and his allies of being a "stooge" installed by Cummings.

The Prime Minister, who previously denied meeting with Cummings, reportedly decided against the "secret" deal as MPs and the media will go "crazy".

Since the two meetings, Cummings has lamented Sunak and his allies on social media.

The hardened political campaigner, who was a key figure in the last Conservative election victory, took aim at a number of figures associated with the "old Tory establishment", including the Prime Minister's political secretary James Forsyth and Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron.

Sunak's apparent decision to snub Cummings' request on Whitehall reform comes as a new opinion poll conducted for GB News revealed Labour is on course to win the next election in a landslide, with Sir Keir Starmer's party holding a 22-point lead over the Tories.

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