Boris Johnson's top adviser: Tory MPs do not care about the poor or NHS
Most Tory MPs "do not care" about the poor or the NHS, according to Boris Johnson's top adviser.
Dominic Cummings - who ran the successful Vote Leave campaign in the EU referendum - made the claim in a speech in 2017.
In comments that will raise eyebrows among Tory MPs, Mr Cummings told the Nudgestock conference: “People think, and by the way I think most people are right: ‘The Tory party is run by people who basically don’t care about people like me.’"
He added: "That is what most people in the country have thought about the Tory party for decades.
"I know a lot of Tory MPs and I am sad to say the public is basically correct.
"Tory MPs largely do not care about these poorer people. They don’t care about the NHS. And the public has kind of cottoned on to that."
Mr Cummings said that view helped to explain why Michael Gove and Mr Johnson - the co-leaders of the Vote Leave campaign - had focused on "actually delivering" on the pledge to give £350m a week to the NHS after Brexit.
Labour pounced on the remarks, with the party's chairman Ian Lavery branding it a "staggering admission from the Prime Minister’s right-hand man".
He added: "As Dominic Cummings says himself, the Conservatives don’t care about anything apart from looking after their rich friends – whether that means selling off our NHS to American corporations in pursuit of a Trump trade deal, or giving tax cuts to big businesses while cutting public services."
A friend of Mr Cummings told The Guardian: “Dom was clear that he thinks the British public care most about leaving the EU and want more money for the NHS. And with this Prime Minister, that’s exactly what the public will get.”
Meanwhile, Nigel Farage has reignited his feud with Mr Cummings by accusing him of being "untrustworthy" and not a "true believer" in Brexit.
The pair previously clashed during the 2016 referendum campaign, as Mr Farage's separate Leave.EU organisation competed with Vote Leave for official recognition by the Electoral Commission.
Mr Cummings is also a controversial figure among members of the Conservative European Research Group of Brexiteer MPs, who he has branded a "metastasising tumour" and a "narcissist delusional subset" of the party.
According to The Times, Mr Farage said: "He thinks we're all cretins and members of the lower order.
"He has never liked me. He can't stand the ERG. I can't see him coming to any accommodation with anyone.
"He has huge personal enmity with the true believers in Brexit."
Mr Farage meanwhile said he could not enter into an electoral pact with the Conservatives while Mr Cummings was at Number 10.