Dominic Cummings asked Boris Johnson to grant him special powers in Downing Street which have made him more powerful than the PM’s special advisers.
The assistant to the Prime Minister is understood to have a document – signed by Mr Johnson – stating that he has control over certain government projects.
The agreement has little legal standing, meaning it has not received the same criticism lobbied at Tony Blair when he gave his press secretary Alastair Campbell and his chief of staff Jonathan Powell powers to order civil servants to obey their ministers.
Dominic Cummings (right) asked Boris Johnson (left) to grant him special powers in Downing Street which have made him more powerful than the PM’s special advisers
A Downing Street source told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Before he took the job, Dom made Boris sign a contract specifying what his powers were to be, that he would be allowed to hire and fire SpAds [and] confirming his authority over other key government projects.’
Special advisers – known as SpAds- provide advice and guidance to ministers and often liaise with the media.
Another source said: ‘Boris asked Dom to come in and offered him the job, and Dom said, these are the areas I want control over: SpAds and personnel, and other key policy areas including the ARPA stuff, and I think some immigration policy and perhaps even reforming the civil service.’
It comes after Downing Street launched a recruitment website to open up the way ministerial aides are hired on Thursday.
Traditionally, party insiders have been appointed as special advisers but the Government is now seeking ‘talented applicants from all walks of life’.
The move comes amid concerns about the treatment of SpAds after Sonia Khan – an adviser to former chancellor Sajid Javid – was escorted out of Downing Street by police officers after being sacked by Mr Cummings.
In a pointed resignation speech in the Commons former chancellor Sajid Javid criticised the growing influence of Mr Cummings (pictured)
And the PM’s chief adviser was challenged at an internal meeting of aides in Number 10 earlier this month, with one aide saying it was ‘unkind’ of him to say half of them would be fired.
The website – spadjobs.uk – states that the Conservative Party is ‘launching a search for talented and experienced communications and digital professionals’.
It reads: ‘In order to help the party support the Government’s work to level-up the country, the best candidates will be considered for political appointments to serve as Special Advisers.’
Candidates are asked to send a CV and cover letter by March 15.
A senior Tory source said: ‘We want to find experienced candidates who are prepared to work hard and help us unleash Britain’s potential – in particular, we want people who have a background in advising business leaders and SMEs.
‘Currently, talent is spread equally around the country but opportunity isn’t.
‘We want to change that and encourage people from all backgrounds to come and help us build a brighter future for our country.’
In a pointed resignation speech in the Commons former chancellor Sajid Javid criticised the growing influence of Mr Cummings.
Mr Javid warned that the merging of Treasury and No 10 teams ordered by Mr Cummings would stifle debate and was ‘not in the national interest’
He warned that the merging of Treasury and No 10 teams ordered by Mr Cummings would stifle debate and was ‘not in the national interest’.