Dominic Cummings has claimed Rishi Sunak sought to strike a “secret deal” with him to help the Tories win the next election.
The prime minister reportedly asked Boris Johnson’s ex-chief aide for advice on how to hold on to power when the country goes to the polls.
Mr Cummings – The Sunday Times has reported – urged him to abandon his cautious economic approach, hold an emergency budget, settle the NHS strikes and double the threshold at which people pay the 40p rate of income tax from £50,271 to £100,000.
The former Vote Leave director also reportedly advocated leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, according to the newspaper.
Number 10 has not denied Mr Cummings’s account but said no job offer was made.
A Downing Street source said: “It was a broad discussion about politics and campaigning, no job was offered.”
The pair were said to have met in December last year in London and in July in North Yorkshire.
Mr Cummings told the paper: “He wanted a secret deal in which I delivered the election and he promised to take government seriously after the election.
“But I’d rather the Tories lose than continue in office without prioritising what’s important and the voters.
“The post-2016 Tories are summed up by the fact that Sunak, like Johnson, would rather lose than take government seriously. Both thought their MPs agreed with them, and both were right.”
Mr Cummings left Mr Johnson’s Number 10 in autumn 2020 after a power struggle and criticism of his now-infamous trip to Barnard Castle.
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow paymaster general, responding to reports of the Cummings-Sunak meeting, said: “Out of touch Rishi Sunak is asking the wrong question if he thinks the lockdown rule-breaking architect of Boris Johnson’s failed premiership is the answer.”