Boris Johnson’s controversial new Brexit supremo has issued a new ‘one strike’ policy on leaks from Government after Theresa May’s sieve-like time in power.
But maverick Brexiteer Dominic Cummings’ warning to ministerial special advisors – known as spads – suffered a difficult start after his threat was itself leaked.
Mrs May’s time in Downing Street was marked by an inability to keep many things secret, especially discussions around the Cabinet table.
But Mr Cummings, seen as the brains behind the Vote Leave campaign, appears determined to change that, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A source told the newspaper: ‘He was firm – if you leak you are gone.’
Mr Cummings was spotted entering No 10 this morning, dressed down in a creased white shirt with several buttons undone, and shabby black jeans.
He is expected to join Mr Johnson on his visit to Scotland later today.
Dominic Cummings entering Downing Street this morning ahead of Mr Johnson’s visit to Scotland
Mr Cummings, 47, entered No 10 with Mr Johnson last week as a senior adviser.
He is expected to attend the Prime minister’s six-man ‘war cabinet’ of senior ministers that will take the lea din planning for Brexit on October 31.
Mr Johnson laid down a marker by appointing the maverick Mr Cummings whose return to government prompted widespread astonishment across Westminster.
The man credited by many for delivering the Brexit vote in 2016 immediately made himself at home after Mr Johnson entered through the iconic black door last Wednesday.
He was pictured wearing a grey T-shirt and clapping in the background as Mr Johnson was greeted by Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.
He was later spotted inside Number 10 leaning against a door frame as the new PM settled in.
The Government leak problem under Mrs May reached its zenith earlier this year when details from a secret meeting about the future 5G phone network and Chinese firm Huawei’s involvement were leaked.
Then defence secretary Gavin Williamson was later sacked after being identified as the source of the leak by an internal investigation led by Sir Mark.
Mr Williamson, who ran Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign, was brought back into the Government last week and made Education Secretary.
Mr Johnson, (pictured at the weekend in Manchester) will visit Scotland today to set out his vision for the Union
Mr Johnson has set up a network of top level committees to try and ensure that Brexit happens by the deadline of October 31.
The Prime Minister spoke with the Cabinet by telephone on Sunday lunchtime to outline the new structure.
Sources said the Prime Minister wanted to improve on the way previous committees operated as he believed they did not move fast enough and were often undermined by parallel structures.
Cabinet agreed that this approach would send a clear message about the Government’s plans to deliver Brexit by the end of October, according to Downing Street.
The Daily Operations Committee, chaired by Mr Gove, will meet every weekday in the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) and will be responsible for overseeing all of the Government’s preparation for leaving, and a possible no-deal exit.
Mr Cummings (far right) was pictured lurking in a corner of 10 Downing Street as Mr Johnson took over as Prime Minister last week, meeting Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill
Mr Cummings (right) with Mr Johnson and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove during the EU referendum campaign in 2016
A source said: ‘Live actions, deadlines and accountability to be on the screens of COBR at every meeting and minutes will be circulated immediately after.’
Mr Gove told the rest of the Cabinet that the committee, known as XO, will ‘agree actions, make decisions and solve problems, and all with specific deadlines’.
The committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday and a Downing Street source said it was being structured in such a way so that the Treasury would be ‘a motor for delivering Brexit, not the anchor.’
The Exit, Economy and Trade Committee (ETC) will be chaired by the Prime Minister and meet regularly.
It will ‘have a broad remit and will handle write rounds’, particularly focused on Britain’s future relationships around the world.
The Exit Strategy committee, known as XS, will meet twice a week and be chaired by the PM.
The XS committee will meet for the first time on Monday, when it will be chaired by Mr Gove in the absence of the Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson will chair the following meeting of the committee on Thursday, Downing Street said.