Dominic Cummings claims Prime Minister had a second job during pandemic
Former Johnson advisor claims the PM was writing his Shakespeare novel because 'he was bored with the PM job'
Dominic Cummings has accused Boris Johnson of hypocrisy over his stance on second jobs, revealing the Prime Minister himself had one, writing a book on Shakespeare.
The former advisor has accused Johnson of asking if he could devote a large chunk of his attention to a biography of Shakespeare, mere weeks after taking office, because he found running the country boring.
Johnson, who this week ordered parliamentarians to "put your job as an MP first and devote yourself primarily to your constituents" as the second-job scandal dominated headlines for several days, has been accused of attempting to skirt his Prime Ministerial duties to focus on his long-awaited book, 'Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius'.
Writing on his substack, Cummings told subscribers: “Within a month of the election he was bored with the PM job and wanted to get back to what he loves while shaking down the publishers for some extra cash.
“In February, as covid spread he was in Chevening writing about Shakespeare and messaging No10 that covid was 'the new swine flu'.
The former advisor adds: "We actually did not want him to stop his holiday as we thought he would return and tell everyone is was a hoax”
- Sir Keir Starmer tried to take a paid consultancy gig in 2017 - according to Corbyn sources
- Tory MP who said Marcus Rashford should stick to his day job, has a second job
- MPs spend £2.5million of taxpayer money employing close family members
Allegedly, on one January morning, Cummings was summoned into Johnson’s study where the following conversation took place:
Johnson: "Dom, I want to run something by you. Do you think it’s OK if I spend a lot of time writing my Shakespeare book?
Cummings: "What do you mean?"
Johnson: "This f****** divorce, very expensive. And this job. It’s like getting up every morning pulling a 747 down the runway. I love writing, I love it, I want to write my Shakespeare book."
Cummings: "I think people expect you to be doing the PM’s job, I would talk to people about this if I were you…"
Cummings published the conversation following Johnson’s demands that MPs devote themselves to their constituents, and not second jobs.
In the last 14 years, Johnson has earned over £4 million from his own “second jobs”.
After Johnson re-entered parliament in 2015 he made £1.6m from secondary roles, mostly during his brief spell as a backbencher in 2018 and 2019.
He was once quoted as having referred to his £275,000 a year salary for his Telegraph column as “chicken feed”.
In May 2021, Downing Street were forced to deny allegations from Cummings that Johnson had skipped crucial Cobra meetings in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic to write his Shakespeare novel.
Johnson’s new book is advertised on the Amazon website with a publication date of 31 March 2022.
If he is to deliver the biography by then, Johnson will have to write it alongside his current job as Prime Minister.
Downing Street were approached for comment but were yet to reply at the time of publication.