Dominic Cummings authorises £100m to suck CO2 out of the sky


Scheme backed by Dominic Cummings to ‘suck’ excess carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground gets £100m from the Treasury

  • Dominic Cummings wants the to spend £100m in direct air capture  technology
  • The technology uses chemical filters to capture carbon dioxide from the air
  • The resulting solution is then pumped underground where it is stored 
  • It currently costs around £500 to store one tone of carbon dioxide  

Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings is backing a scheme to suck carbon dioxide out of the air using technology first used on World War Two submarines. 

The air scrubbers, known as direct air capture, use a chemical solution to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere.

The CO2-laden solution would then be stored underground, reducing the amount of the climate change gas in the atmosphere.

Dominic Cummings, pictured, wants to spend £100 million to develop technology to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it underground 

Cummings, pictured arriving at Downing Street, believes if Britain invests heavily in the technology it could become a world leader

Cummings, pictured arriving at Downing Street, believes if Britain invests heavily in the technology it could become a world leader

The system sees Carbon Dioxide removed from the atmosphere and stored underground

The system sees Carbon Dioxide removed from the atmosphere and stored underground 

According to The Times, Cummings has authorised £100 million from the Treasury to further develop the technology to enable Britain to reach its climate change obligations.

Cummings believes with a significant early investment in the technology, Britain could become a world leader in the area.

However, one Whitehall source claimed: ‘Dom had become obsessed by this. He’s the one who has been pushing it despite huge scepticism from officials. But he’s got his way.’

According to academic research, the technology is incredibly expensive and requires tremendous energy. For each one tonne of CO2 captured, it costs £500.

MailOnline has approached Number 10 for a comment.  

Dominic Cummings authorises £100m to suck CO2 out of the sky


Scheme backed by Dominic Cummings to ‘suck’ excess carbon dioxide from the air and bury it underground gets £100m from the Treasury

  • Dominic Cummings wants the to spend £100m in direct air capture  technology
  • The technology uses chemical filters to capture carbon dioxide from the air
  • The resulting solution is then pumped underground where it is stored 
  • It currently costs around £500 to store one tone of carbon dioxide  

Boris Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings is backing a scheme to suck carbon dioxide out of the air using technology first used on World War Two submarines. 

The air scrubbers, known as direct air capture, use a chemical solution to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere.

The CO2-laden solution would then be stored underground, reducing the amount of the climate change gas in the atmosphere.

Dominic Cummings, pictured, wants to spend £100 million to develop technology to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it underground 

Cummings, pictured arriving at Downing Street, believes if Britain invests heavily in the technology it could become a world leader

Cummings, pictured arriving at Downing Street, believes if Britain invests heavily in the technology it could become a world leader

The system sees Carbon Dioxide removed from the atmosphere and stored underground

The system sees Carbon Dioxide removed from the atmosphere and stored underground 

According to The Times, Cummings has authorised £100 million from the Treasury to further develop the technology to enable Britain to reach its climate change obligations.

Cummings believes with a significant early investment in the technology, Britain could become a world leader in the area.

However, one Whitehall source claimed: ‘Dom had become obsessed by this. He’s the one who has been pushing it despite huge scepticism from officials. But he’s got his way.’

According to academic research, the technology is incredibly expensive and requires tremendous energy. For each one tonne of CO2 captured, it costs £500.

MailOnline has approached Number 10 for a comment.  

Boris Johnson pledges to bring world’s ‘top digital and tech talent’ to the UK


Boris Johnson pledges to bring the world’s ‘top digital and tech talent’ to the UK to transform public services in drive spearheaded by Dominic Cummings

  • Downing Street is to launch a flagship ‘innovation fellowship programme’
  • Technology experts will be parachuted in to government department positions
  • Idea is brainchild of Dominic Cummings, who called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service

The world’s ‘top digital and tech talent’ will be brought into the heart of government to transform public services, Boris Johnson will pledge today.

In a clear signal of the drive to revolutionise Whitehall, these experts will be parachuted in to government departments to provide a different perspective on how the country should be run.

The plan is the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, who last year famously called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service.

He believes Whitehall is too full of arts graduates and warns that unless scientists are brought into government, Britain will lag behind as an economic power.

To this end, Downing Street will launch a flagship ‘innovation fellowship programme’ – and successful applicants will be allocated to government departments to accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and listen to new ideas from industry and academia.

In a clear signal of the drive to revolutionise Whitehall, these experts will be parachuted in to government departments to provide a different perspective on how the country should be run (stock photo)

It comes days after it emerged Sir Mark Sedwill would be leaving as Cabinet Secretary, the UK’s top civil servant, following claims of a power struggle with Mr Cummings.

The plan to recruit leading independent experts is part of a sweeping strategy to turn Britain into a ‘science superpower’, with a string of measures to encourage scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to come here under an ‘Research & Development Roadmap’.

New immigration rules will mean foreign PhD students would be able to get a visa to stay here three years after they achieve their qualification. And a new Office for Talent will come up with ways to persuade the brightest and the best foreign students to come to the UK.

Meanwhile, £300million will be invested in scientific infrastructure across the UK.

Speaking in Dudley yesterday, Mr Johnson also promised to plough millions of pounds into a new US-style research body to make Britain a scientific superpower.

The plan would see the UK developing an answer to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which was set up by President Eisenhower in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik.

The plan is the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, who last year famously called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service

The plan is the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, who last year famously called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service

ARPA was behind such technological leaps as the Global Positioning System and the forerunner to the internet.

The British version would research technology to tackle climate change, medicines and treatments for cancer, ways to fight antibiotic resistance and steps towards faster computers.

Mr Johnson said: ‘This summer, we will be creating a new science funding agency to back high risk, high reward projects. In the next 100 years the most successful societies will be the most innovative societies.’

Mr Cummings is known to be a key supporter of a UK scientific research body; his WhatsApp profile reads ‘GetBrexitDoneThenARPA’.

He wants to see cuts to unnecessary bureaucracy in attracting scientific research funding in a bid to make the UK a world-leading scientific superpower and attract global talent from across the world.

Boris Johnson pledges to bring world’s ‘top digital and tech talent’ to the UK


Boris Johnson pledges to bring the world’s ‘top digital and tech talent’ to the UK to transform public services in drive spearheaded by Dominic Cummings

  • Downing Street is to launch a flagship ‘innovation fellowship programme’
  • Technology experts will be parachuted in to government department positions
  • Idea is brainchild of Dominic Cummings, who called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service

The world’s ‘top digital and tech talent’ will be brought into the heart of government to transform public services, Boris Johnson will pledge today.

In a clear signal of the drive to revolutionise Whitehall, these experts will be parachuted in to government departments to provide a different perspective on how the country should be run.

The plan is the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, who last year famously called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service.

He believes Whitehall is too full of arts graduates and warns that unless scientists are brought into government, Britain will lag behind as an economic power.

To this end, Downing Street will launch a flagship ‘innovation fellowship programme’ – and successful applicants will be allocated to government departments to accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and listen to new ideas from industry and academia.

In a clear signal of the drive to revolutionise Whitehall, these experts will be parachuted in to government departments to provide a different perspective on how the country should be run (stock photo)

It comes days after it emerged Sir Mark Sedwill would be leaving as Cabinet Secretary, the UK’s top civil servant, following claims of a power struggle with Mr Cummings.

The plan to recruit leading independent experts is part of a sweeping strategy to turn Britain into a ‘science superpower’, with a string of measures to encourage scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to come here under an ‘Research & Development Roadmap’.

New immigration rules will mean foreign PhD students would be able to get a visa to stay here three years after they achieve their qualification. And a new Office for Talent will come up with ways to persuade the brightest and the best foreign students to come to the UK.

Meanwhile, £300million will be invested in scientific infrastructure across the UK.

Speaking in Dudley yesterday, Mr Johnson also promised to plough millions of pounds into a new US-style research body to make Britain a scientific superpower.

The plan would see the UK developing an answer to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which was set up by President Eisenhower in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik.

The plan is the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, who last year famously called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service

The plan is the brainchild of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, who last year famously called for ‘misfits and weirdos’ to apply to join the civil service

ARPA was behind such technological leaps as the Global Positioning System and the forerunner to the internet.

The British version would research technology to tackle climate change, medicines and treatments for cancer, ways to fight antibiotic resistance and steps towards faster computers.

Mr Johnson said: ‘This summer, we will be creating a new science funding agency to back high risk, high reward projects. In the next 100 years the most successful societies will be the most innovative societies.’

Mr Cummings is known to be a key supporter of a UK scientific research body; his WhatsApp profile reads ‘GetBrexitDoneThenARPA’.

He wants to see cuts to unnecessary bureaucracy in attracting scientific research funding in a bid to make the UK a world-leading scientific superpower and attract global talent from across the world.

Boris Johnson dodges questions over whether Mark Sedwill was forced out


Boris Johnson praised the ‘incredible service’ of Sir Mark Sedwill today as he dodged questions over whether he was forced out in a power struggle with Dominic Cummings.

The PM insisted the Cabinet Secretary had ‘seen the government through all sorts’ since taking on the role two years ago – and hinted that he could contribute in future. 

But in an interview with Times Radio he dismissed ‘briefing’ coming from aides and the heart of Whitehall in recent weeks about the future of the country’s most senior civil servant.  

The comments came amid claims Mr Johnson is looking for a Brexiteer to succeed Sir Mark, who will be handed a peerage and a bumper civil service pay-off when he stands down later this year. 

Mr Johnson tried to play down the idea this morning, telling reporters during a visit to a construction site that the great thing about the civil service was that politicians never knew their personal political views. 

Sir Mark, 55, last night confirmed he will step down as both Cabinet Secretary and national security adviser in September, after more than 30 years in Government service.

Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured in Westminster today) has confirmed he will step down as both Cabinet Secretary and national security adviser in September, after more than 30 years in Government service

Boris Johnson insisted the Cabinet Secretary (pictured together last June with Dominic Cummings right) had 'seen the government through all sorts' since taking on the role two years ago - and hinted that he could contribute in future

Boris Johnson insisted the Cabinet Secretary (pictured together last June with Dominic Cummings right) had ‘seen the government through all sorts’ since taking on the role two years ago – and hinted that he could contribute in future 

Mr Johnson dodged questions about whether Sir Mark's departure was linked to a power struggle with Dominic Cummings (pictured leaving his London home today)

Mr Johnson dodged questions about whether Sir Mark’s departure was linked to a power struggle with Dominic Cummings (pictured leaving his London home today)

Sir Mark’s departure comes just days after Mr Cummings is reported to have told Government advisers ‘a hard rain is coming’ to Whitehall – an apparent reference to the radioactive showers that follow a nuclear blast.

He is said to have advised Mr Johnson to sack the former diplomat at the end of last month following clashes over the scale and timing of the planned overhaul.

But Mr Johnson and Sir Mark finalised his departure at a private lunch on June 2, and agreed to try to paint the departure as amicable.

Amid a backlash from unions and former mandarins, David Frost, the PM’s EU negotiator, is being installed as the new national security adviser. 

In his interview this morning, Mr Johnson said: ‘Sir Mark has given incredible service to this country. He came in at a very difficult time. 

‘He has seen the Government through all sorts of very tough stuff – changes in the premiership, an election, Brexit, dealing with the worst bits of the Covid crisis. He has got a lot more to offer and I am sure he will.’ 

He played down suggestions that Sir Mark had been the subject of a series of negative briefings in the media. 

‘I try not to read too much of the negative briefing. There is an awful lot of stuff that comes out in the papers to which I wouldn’t automatically attach the utmost credence,’ he said. 

‘People brief all kinds of things into the newspapers. All I can tell you is Mark is an outstanding servant to this country and will continue to be so.’ 

Speaking to broadcasters separately on his visit in west London this morning, Mr Johnson rejected the idea that he wants a Brexiteer.

‘I think the great thing about the civil service is that nobody should know, least of all me,’ he said. 

‘I think we have a wonderful civil service. They are impartial, they are the best in the world, and who knows what his or her views will be.’ 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson did not deny that Mr Johnson would seek a Brexiteer to replace Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary. 

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The Prime Minister’s search is to get the very best person into that role and applications will be opening from next month to get someone of the very highest calibre to step into some big shoes.’ 

Mr Williamson insisted it was not unusual for a special adviser such as Mr Frost to be appointed national security adviser. 

‘That’s what you see in the United States, that’s what you see in many other countries,’ he said. 

‘This is a man who has impeccable public service, very much a background that similar people who have held this role in the past before have come from having worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for an awful long time, so this isn’t an unusual appointment.’ 

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed 'fundamental' flaws in the government machine

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed 'fundamental' flaws in the government machine

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM’s chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed ‘fundamental’ flaws in the government machine

Bob Kerslake, a former head of the Civil Service, along with the civil servants’ union accused Number 10 ‘or those around it’ of working to ‘undermine’ the ex-diplomat.

Speaking to the Guardian, Lord Kerslake said: ‘I fear from some of the press briefing that had obviously gone on that the Civil Service is being made the fall guy for mistakes made in the handling of the pandemic.’

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, which represents public officials, said: ‘No 10, or those around it, has sought to undermine Sir Mark and the leadership of the civil service, with a series of anonymous briefings against him over many months.’ He blasted the tactics as ‘corrosive and cowardly’ and said the Government would be ‘weaker as a result’ of the departure.

Boris Johnson dodges questions over whether Mark Sedwill was forced out


Boris Johnson praises ‘incredible service’ of Sir Mark Sedwill as he dodges questions over whether he was forced out in power struggle with Dominic Cummings – amid claims PM is hunting for a Brexiteer to run civil service

  • Boris Johnson has praised Mark Sedwill amid claimed he was forced out of job
  • Sir Mark is stepped down as Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser 
  • Claims about a power struggle with maverick No10 chief Dominic Cummings

Boris Johnson praised the ‘incredible service’ of Sir Mark Sedwill today as he dodged questions over whether he was forced out in a power struggle with Dominic Cummings.

The PM insisted the Cabinet Secretary had ‘seen the government through all sorts’ since taking on the role two years ago – and hinted that he could contribute in future. 

But in an interview with Times Radio he dismissed ‘briefing’ coming from aides and the heart of Whitehall in recent weeks about the future of the country’s most senior civil servant.  

The comments came amid claims Mr Johnson is looking for a Brexiteer to succeed Sir Mark, who will be handed a peerage and a bumper civil service pay-off when he stands down later this year. 

Britain’s top civil servant, 55, last night confirmed he will step down as both Cabinet Secretary and national security adviser in September, after more than 30 years in Government service.

Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured in Westminster today) has confirmed he will step down as both Cabinet Secretary and national security adviser in September, after more than 30 years in Government service

Sir Mark Sedwill (middle with Boris Johnson left) said it had been 'a privilege to serve' as he announced he will stand down from both roles in September, after over 30 years in Government service

Sir Mark Sedwill (middle with Boris Johnson left) said it had been ‘a privilege to serve’ as he announced he will stand down from both roles in September, after over 30 years in Government service

Sir Mark’s departure comes just days after Mr Cummings is reported to have told Government advisers ‘a hard rain is coming’ to Whitehall – an apparent reference to the radioactive showers that follow a nuclear blast.

He is said to have advised Mr Johnson to sack the former diplomat at the end of last month following clashes over the scale and timing of the planned overhaul.

But Mr Johnson and Sir Mark finalised his departure at a private lunch on June 2, and agreed to try to paint the departure as amicable.

Amid a backlash from unions and former mandarins, David Frost, the PM’s EU negotiator, is being installed as the new national security adviser. 

In his interview this morning, Mr Johnson said: ‘Sir Mark has given incredible service to this country. He came in at a very difficult time. 

‘He has seen the Government through all sorts of very tough stuff – changes in the premiership, an election, Brexit, dealing with the worst bits of the Covid crisis. He has got a lot more to offer and I am sure he will.’ 

He played down suggestions that Sir Mark had been the subject of a series of negative briefings in the media. 

‘I try not to read too much of the negative briefing. There is an awful lot of stuff that comes out in the papers to which I wouldn’t automatically attach the utmost credence,’ he said. 

‘People brief all kinds of things into the newspapers. All I can tell you is Mark is an outstanding servant to this country and will continue to be so.’ 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson did not deny that Mr Johnson would seek a Brexiteer to replace Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary. 

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The Prime Minister’s search is to get the very best person into that role and applications will be opening from next month to get someone of the very highest calibre to step into some big shoes.’ 

Mr Williamson insisted it was not unusual for a special adviser such as Mr Frost to be appointed national security adviser. 

‘That’s what you see in the United States, that’s what you see in many other countries,’ he said. 

‘This is a man who has impeccable public service, very much a background that similar people who have held this role in the past before have come from having worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for an awful long time, so this isn’t an unusual appointment.’ 

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed 'fundamental' flaws in the government machine

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM's chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed 'fundamental' flaws in the government machine

It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM’s chief aide, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed ‘fundamental’ flaws in the government machine

Bob Kerslake, a former head of the Civil Service, along with the civil servants’ union accused Number 10 ‘or those around it’ of working to ‘undermine’ the ex-diplomat.

Speaking to the Guardian, Lord Kerslake said: ‘I fear from some of the press briefing that had obviously gone on that the Civil Service is being made the fall guy for mistakes made in the handling of the pandemic.’

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA, which represents public officials, said: ‘No 10, or those around it, has sought to undermine Sir Mark and the leadership of the civil service, with a series of anonymous briefings against him over many months.’ He blasted the tactics as ‘corrosive and cowardly’ and said the Government would be ‘weaker as a result’ of the departure.

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost to take over as National Security Adviser


Replacing Sir Mark Sedwill as national security adviser with Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator in Europe effectively sets a hard deadline on Brexit trade talks, Downing Street said last night.

David Frost, a career diplomat, will move to his new role by the beginning of September. This means that talks with Brussels over a free trade deal will have to be completed by the end of August at the latest.

If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave without a deal when the transition period ends on December 31. The Government hopes the deadline will increase pressure on EU leaders to make concessions which would make it easier to seal a free trade deal.

The Prime Minister’s decision to appoint two successors to Sir Mark – a new national security adviser and a new Cabinet Secretary – is designed to ensure Britain can play a major part on the world stage.

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost (pictured) will take over as National Security Advisor from September, Boris Johnson confirmed today

In another break from tradition, Mr Frost’s is a political appointment rather than a civil service one – meaning he is more akin to a special adviser. 

Regarded as a close associate of Dominic Cummings, the 55-year-old has no previous national security experience. However, he will now be the principal adviser to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on national security strategy, policy and planning for emergencies.

It is unclear who will step into the Cabinet Secretary position from September, but Simon Case is hotly tipped to be gearing up for a promotion. Mr Case was appointed permanent secretary in No10 amid the coronavirus crisis.  

Mr Frost is currently the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and the UK’s Chief Negotiator, having previously served as Special Adviser to Mr Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary. 

Speaking after news of his appointment today, Mr Frost said he will ‘of course remain Chief Negotiator for the EU talks and these will remain my top single priority until those negotiations have concluded, one way or another.’    

Born in Derby, Mr Frost won a scholarship to Nottingham High School before going on to study French and history at St John’s College, Oxford. He joined the Foreign Office in 1987, with his first posting taking him to the British High Commission in Cyprus. 

Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured), who currently acts as NSA and Cabinet Secretary, announced he will step down from both roles later this year after more than 30 years in Government service

Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured), who currently acts as NSA and Cabinet Secretary, announced he will step down from both roles later this year after more than 30 years in Government service

The Prime Minister's decision to appoint two successors to Sir Mark – a new national security adviser and a new Cabinet Secretary – is designed to ensure Britain can play a major part on the world stage

The Prime Minister’s decision to appoint two successors to Sir Mark – a new national security adviser and a new Cabinet Secretary – is designed to ensure Britain can play a major part on the world stage 

In 1993 he experienced his first taste of working with the EU when he was posted to Brussels as first secretary for economic and financial affairs. He was then sent to the United Nations.

Between 2006 and 2008 he was Britain’s ambassador to Denmark before becoming the UK’s most senior trade policy official in the business department. He left the diplomatic service in 2013 to head the Scotch Whisky Association – but when Mr Johnson became foreign secretary he returned to government as his special adviser.

He also served as a member of the advisory council of Open Europe, a Eurosceptic think-tank.

When Mr Johnson became Prime Minister, Mr Frost came back on board and duly negotiated the deal which enabled Britain to leave the EU at the end of January.

Speaking of his appointment today, he said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed the next National Security Adviser. I look forward to helping deliver the Prime Minister’s vision for a global Britain, with real influence around the world.

Mr Frost is currently the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and the UK’s Chief Negotiator, having previously served as Special Adviser to Mr Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary

Mr Frost is currently the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and the UK’s Chief Negotiator, having previously served as Special Adviser to Mr Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary 

Both Sir Mark (pictured with Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Therese Coffey) and Mr Frost are to be awarded life peerages, elevating them to the House of Lords

Both Sir Mark (pictured with Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Therese Coffey) and Mr Frost are to be awarded life peerages, elevating them to the House of Lords

‘My aim is to support the Prime Minister in setting a new strategic vision for Britain’s place in the world as an independent country after the end of the EU transition period, and in championing that vision as we strengthen our international relationships.

‘To do this effectively we need to strengthen and refocus our international policy apparatus, to ensure that we keep pace with others in the world. The creation of the new Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office is one important step in this. 

‘Implementing the Integrated Review of our international capability, and making sure we use the National Security Council to drive its results, are also essential and I look forward to leading both.

‘I will of course remain Chief Negotiator for the EU talks and these will remain my top single priority until those negotiations have concluded, one way or another.’ 

Mr Johnson praised Mr Frost as ‘an experienced diplomat, policy thinker and proven negotiator.’

‘He negotiated the deal that finally enabled us to leave the EU in January and in his new role I am confident he will make an equal difference to this country’s ability to project influence for the better,’ he said.

Pictured: Sir Mark with Prime Minister Boris Johnson inside 10 Downing Street in July last year

Pictured: Sir Mark with Prime Minister Boris Johnson inside 10 Downing Street in July last year

‘I have asked David to help me deliver this Government’s vision for Britain’s place in the world and to support me in reinvigorating our national security architecture and ensuring that we deliver for the British people on the international stage.’

Both Sir Mark and Mr Frost are to be awarded life peerages, Downing Street confirmed, elevating them to the House of Lords.  

News of his new job follows Angela Merkel’s warning that Britain will have to ‘live with the consequences’ of Mr Johnson’s plan to ditch close economic ties with the EU.

Amid deadlock over whether Britain must comply with the bloc’s state aid rules and environmental, social and labour standards in return for a free trade deal, the German Chancellor said: ‘We need to let go of the idea that it is for us to define what Britain should want. That is for Britain to define – and we, the EU27, will respond appropriately.’

Mr Frost will take over the NSA role from Sir Mark, who was appointed by Theresa May in 2017 and made Cabinet Secretary a year later. He was permitted to keep both jobs despite criticism.    

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost to take over as National Security Adviser


Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost will take over as National Security Adviser from September, Boris Johnson confirmed today.

Sir Mark Sedwill, who currently acts as NSA and Cabinet Secretary, announced he will step down from both roles later this year after more than 30 years in Government service.

His exit follows reports of tensions between Sir Mark and Mr Johnson’s most senior aide Dominic Cummings, who last week reportedly warned ‘hard rain is going to fall’ as he vowed to take an axe to the civil service. 

Mr Johnson has spilt the Cabinet Secretary and NSA roles, which were joined by Theresa May when she appointed Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary in 2018.   

The Prime Minister’s decision to appoint two successors to Sir Mark is designed to ensure Britain can play a major part on the world stage.

In another break from tradition, Mr Frost’s is a political appointment rather than a civil service one – meaning he is more akin to a special adviser. 

Regarded as a close associate of Dominic Cummings, the 55-year-old has no previous national security experience. 

However, he will now be the principal adviser to the Prime Minister and Cabinet on national security strategy, policy and planning for emergencies.     

It is unclear who will step into the Cabinet Secretary role from September, but Simon Case is hotly tipped to be gearing up for a promotion. Mr Case was appointed permanent secretary in Number 10 amid the coronavirus crisis.   

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost (pictured) will take over as National Security Advisor from September, Boris Johnson confirmed today

Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured), who currently acts as NSA and Cabinet Secretary, announced he will step down from both roles later this year after more than 30 years in Government service

Sir Mark Sedwill (pictured), who currently acts as NSA and Cabinet Secretary, announced he will step down from both roles later this year after more than 30 years in Government service

Mr Frost, who is currently the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and the UK’s Chief Negotiator, will move to his new role by the beginning of September. This means that talks with Brussels over a free trade deal will have to be completed by the end of August at the latest.

If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave without a deal when the transition period ends on December 31. The Government hopes the deadline will increase pressure on EU leaders to make concessions which would make it easier to seal a free trade deal.   

Speaking after news of his appointment today, Mr Frost said he will ‘of course remain Chief Negotiator for the EU talks and these will remain my top single priority until those negotiations have concluded, one way or another.’   

He first joined the Foreign Office in 1987, from where he was posted to the British High Commission in Nicosia, Cyprus. 

In 1993, he was appointed First Secretary for Economic and Financial Affairs at the UK Representation to the EU in Brussels.

He was the British Ambassador to Denmark from May 2006 to October 2008, before acting as Director for Strategy and Policy Planning in the Foreign Office from  October 2008 to 2010.

Mr Frost then left Diplomatic Service in 2013 to become CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association – but when Mr Johnson became Foreign Secretary he returned to government as his special adviser.

He also served as a member of the advisory council of Open Europe, a Eurosceptic think-tank.

Mr Johnson (pictured) appears to have spilt the Cabinet Secretary and NSA roles, which were joined by Theresa May when she appointed Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary in 2018

Mr Johnson (pictured) appears to have spilt the Cabinet Secretary and NSA roles, which were joined by Theresa May when she appointed Sir Mark as Cabinet Secretary in 2018

Mr Frost is currently the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and the UK’s Chief Negotiator, having previously served as Special Adviser to Mr Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary

Mr Frost is currently the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser and the UK’s Chief Negotiator, having previously served as Special Adviser to Mr Johnson when he was Foreign Secretary 

When Mr Johnson became Prime Minister, Mr Frost came back on board and duly negotiated the deal which enabled Britain to leave the EU at the end of January. 

Speaking of his appointment today, he said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed the next National Security Adviser. I look forward to helping deliver the Prime Minister’s vision for a global Britain, with real influence around the world.

‘My aim is to support the Prime Minister in setting a new strategic vision for Britain’s place in the world as an independent country after the end of the EU transition period, and in championing that vision as we strengthen our international relationships.

‘To do this effectively we need to strengthen and refocus our international policy apparatus, to ensure that we keep pace with others in the world. The creation of the new Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office is one important step in this. 

‘Implementing the Integrated Review of our international capability, and making sure we use the National Security Council to drive its results, are also essential and I look forward to leading both.

Both Sir Mark (pictured with Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Therese Coffey) and Mr Frost are to be awarded life peerages, elevating them to the House of Lords

Both Sir Mark (pictured with Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Therese Coffey) and Mr Frost are to be awarded life peerages, elevating them to the House of Lords

Pictured: Sir Mark with Prime Minister Boris Johnson inside 10 Downing Street in July last year

Pictured: Sir Mark with Prime Minister Boris Johnson inside 10 Downing Street in July last year

‘I will of course remain Chief Negotiator for the EU talks and these will remain my top single priority until those negotiations have concluded, one way or another.’ 

Mr Johnson praised Mr Frost as ‘an experienced diplomat, policy thinker and proven negotiator.’

‘He negotiated the deal that finally enabled us to leave the EU in January and in his new role I am confident he will make an equal difference to this country’s ability to project influence for the better,’ he said.

‘I have asked David to help me deliver this Government’s vision for Britain’s place in the world and to support me in reinvigorating our national security architecture and ensuring that we deliver for the British people on the international stage.’

Both Sir Mark and Mr Frost are to be awarded life peerages, Downing Street confirmed, elevating them to the House of Lords.  

Mr Frost will take over the NSA role from Sir Mark, who was appointed by Theresa May in 2017 and made Cabinet Secretary a year later. He was permitted to keep both jobs despite criticism. 

Dominic Cummings ‘vows fundamental change to civil service’ after coronavirus


Dominic Cummings has vowed fundamental change to the civil service after coronavirus exposed flaws in the government machine.

The PM’s most senior aide is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office must be stripped of powers, swiping: ‘A hard rain is coming.’

Mr Cummings has been a longstanding critic of the way the civil service works, calling for more modern organisation and data-driven policies.

In blogs before he was drafted in by Mr Johnson, he urged the introduction of ‘red teams’ explicitly tasked with finding reasons why the government should not be following policies. 

He has been an advocate of ‘Super-Forecasters’, individuals who have no specific expertise but are able to predict events because of their mental process.

Mr Cummings has been particularly scathing about the way the Ministry of Defence runs its procurement. 

Dominic Cummings (pictured in Downing Street today) is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office must be stripped of powers, swiping: ‘A hard rain is coming.’

Dominic Cummings’ long-running war with the civil service  

Dominic Cummings has written prolific blogs on government over years that give a glimpse into his thinking.

In June last year, shortly before joining Mr Johnson at No10, he penned a 10,000-word post calling for an end to the ‘Kafka-esque’ influence of civil servants on politicians.

He proposed creating independent ‘Red Teams’ to challenge official advice to ministers – who would be rewarded for overturning the orthodoxy.  

Mr Cummings has previously slammed support for ministers as ‘extremely bureaucratic and slow’ and said the civil service had presided over ‘expensive debacle after expensive debacle’. 

He dismissed Westminster as ‘the blind leading the blind’, saying that for top mandarins ‘management, like science, is regarded contemptuously as something for the lower orders to think about, not the ”strategists” at the top’.

Mr Cummings has been upsetting the Westminster establishment for years. 

He memorably nicknamed the educational establishment ‘the blob’ when he was adviser to Mr Gove at the Department for Education. 

In 2014, David Cameron reportedly branded him a ‘career psychopath’, and Mr Cummings resigned from government and accused him of ‘bumbling from one shambles to another without the slightest sense of purpose’.

Mr Cummings described Lib Dem former deputy PM Nick Clegg as ‘a revolting character’, which triggered Mr Clegg to dismiss him as a ‘loopy ideologue’. 

There have been complaints from some Tory MPs that No10 is too inward looking and has been blundering over coronavirus because there is an ‘iron curtain’ around the PM. 

But according to the grass roots ConservativeHome website, in a Zoom call with other special advisers recently Mr Cummings flatly dismissed the idea that he wanted to take all power into No10 as a ‘media invention’.

He reportedly told Spads that ‘anybody who has read what I’ve said about management over the years will know it’s ludicrous to suggest the solution to Whitehall’s problems is a bigger centre and more centralisation’.

‘it’s already far too big, incoherent and adds to the problems with departments.’ he added.

Mr Cummings apparently called for a ‘smaller and more elite’ central operation, and made clear that big changes were coming for No10 and the Cabinet Office.

He insisted the coronavirus response had underlined problems in the structures and many officials now accepted the need for radical change, before concluding with the message: ‘A hard rain is coming.’

Tensions have been running high between civil servants, ministers and aides during the crisis that has engulfed the country.

There were claims of a pointy exchange between the PM and Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill at a meeting. 

During a discussion about the government’s exit plan Mr Johnson is said to have asked: ‘Who is in charge of implementing this delivery plan?’

One of the sources said that silence followed before the PM looked at Sir Mark and said: ‘Is it you?’

Sir Mark then reportedly replied: ‘No, I think it’s you, prime minister.’

There was also speculation old scored were being settled when Sir Simon McDonald announced he was stepping down as the top mandarin at the Foreign Office last week. 

And Home Secretary Priti Patel is facing an employment tribunal action from Sir Philip Rutnam after he quit as permanent secretary following a long-running spat.

Mr Cummings has written prolific blogs on government over years that give a glimpse into his thinking.

In June last year, shortly before joining Mr Johnson at No10, he penned a 10,000-word post calling for an end to the ‘Kafka-esque’ influence of civil servants on politicians.

He proposed creating independent ‘Red Teams’ to challenge official advice to ministers – who would be rewarded for overturning the orthodoxy.  

Mr Cummings has previously slammed support for ministers as ‘extremely bureaucratic and slow’ and said the civil service had presided over ‘expensive debacle after expensive debacle’. 

He dismissed Westminster as ‘the blind leading the blind’, saying that for top mandarins ‘management, like science, is regarded contemptuously as something for the lower orders to think about, not the ”strategists” at the top’.

Mr Cummings has been upsetting the Westminster establishment for years. 

He memorably nicknamed the educational establishment ‘the blob’ when he was adviser to Mr Gove at the Department for Education. 

In blogs before he was drafted in by Boris Johnson (pictured today), Mr Cummings urged the introduction of 'red teams' explicitly tasked with finding reasons why the government should not be following policies

In blogs before he was drafted in by Boris Johnson (pictured today), Mr Cummings urged the introduction of ‘red teams’ explicitly tasked with finding reasons why the government should not be following policies

In 2014, David Cameron reportedly branded him a ‘career psychopath’, and Mr Cummings resigned from government and accused him of ‘bumbling from one shambles to another without the slightest sense of purpose’.

Mr Cummings described Lib Dem former deputy PM Nick Clegg as ‘a revolting character’, which triggered Mr Clegg to dismiss him as a ‘loopy ideologue’. 

Angry Tory MPs urged Mr Johnson last week to tear down the ‘iron curtain’ around Downing Street and listen to them instead of Mr Cummings.

They voiced frustration at the lack of consultation with the wider party, as Mr Johnson relies on a small circle of trusted advisers including Mr Cummings.  

‘Boris needs to get the message his liaison with parliamentary colleagues needs to get better and better quickly,’ one MP told the Telegraph. ‘There seems to be an iron curtain around Downing Street.’ 

The PM was urged to improve communications with Tory MPs in order to avoid U-turns, such as those over free school meals and the migrant surcharge on foreign NHS staff.

They told him to listen to feedback from experienced MPs rather than relying on a small circle of advisers such as Dominic Cummings.

And they said they felt angry that in some cases they had been out defending the original position, only for it to be changed within hours.

‘There was a very clear message that people want no more U-turns,’ an MP said. 

‘It feels like we’re lurching from one mini-crisis to the next. 

‘The big issue is the lack of communication between No 10 and the backbenches. 

‘We are seeing these problems like free school meals starting to build up momentum in our inboxes and No 10 appears to be blissfully unaware of them until it’s too late. 

‘In the meantime, we’re being asked to go out and defend things we can see they are going to cave in on.’

Dominic Cummings ‘vows fundamental change to civil service’ after coronavirus


‘A hard rain is coming’: No10 chief Dominic Cummings ‘vows fundamental change to civil service’ after coronavirus exposed flaws in the government machine

Dominic Cummings has vowed fundamental change to the civil service after coronavirus exposed flaws in the government machine.

The PM’s most senior aide is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office must be stripped of powers, swiping: ‘A hard rain is coming.’

Mr Cummings has been a longstanding critic of the way the civil service works, calling for more modern organisation and data-driven policies.

In blogs before he was drafted in by Mr Johnson, he urged the introduction of ‘red teams’ explicitly tasked with finding reasons why the government should not be following policies. 

He has been an advocate of ‘Super-Forecasters’, individuals who have no specific expertise but are able to predict events because of their mental process.

Mr Cummings has been particularly scathing about the way the Ministry of Defence runs its procurement. 

Dominic Cummings (pictured in Downing Street today) is said to have told colleagues the Cabinet Office must be stripped of powers, swiping: ‘A hard rain is coming.’

There have been complaints from some Tory MPs that No10 is too inward looking and has been blundering over coronavirus because there is an ‘iron curtain’ around the PM. 

But according to the grass roots ConservativeHome website, in a Zoom call with other special advisers recently Mr Cummings flatly dismissed the idea that he wanted to take all power into No10 as a ‘media invention’.

He reportedly told Spads that ‘anybody who has read what I’ve said about management over the years will know it’s ludicrous to suggest the solution to Whitehall’s problems is a bigger centre and more centralisation’.

‘it’s already far too big, incoherent and adds to the problems with departments.’ he added.

Mr Cummings apparently called for a ‘smaller and more elite’ central operation, and made clear that big changes were coming for No10 and the Cabinet Office.

He insisted the coronavirus response had underlined problems in the structures and many officials now accepted the need for radical change, before concluding with the message: ‘A hard rain is coming.’

In blogs before he was drafted in by Boris Johnson (pictured today), Mr Cummings urged the introduction of 'red teams' explicitly tasked with finding reasons why the government should not be following policies

In blogs before he was drafted in by Boris Johnson (pictured today), Mr Cummings urged the introduction of ‘red teams’ explicitly tasked with finding reasons why the government should not be following policies