Government lawyers have failed to remove Dominic Cummings from an employment tribunal case.
The demand that Cummings be removed was rejected after barristers for Sonia Khan, Javid’s ex-media adviser, “successfully argued that the behaviour of Boris Johnson’s chief aide was pivotal to the case”, The Guardian reports.
The failed intervention “will be seen as an attempt by the government to protect Cummings from further controversy”, says the newspaper. Public anger over the prime minister’s decision not to sack Cummings for breaching lockdown rules has already seen more than 1.1 million people signing a petition calling for the aide to get the boot.
Cummings’ inclusion as a respondent in the employment tribunal case means he could be made personally liable for part of any damages award. Whitehall sources told The Guardian that he plans to fight the claim, after the government’s solicitors failed to get his name replaced as a respondent with that of the Cabinet Office.
Despite Downing Street’s efforts, the PM’s closest aide is “expected to give evidence” in the case, which also includes an unfair dismissal claim, Daily Mail reports.
Cummings fired Khan last August and had her escorted out of No. 10 by armed police, in what The Sunday Times’ political editor Tim Shipman described as a “mafia-style hit”.