LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser Dominic Cummings will continue to work until mid-December, and another senior aide will serve as temporary chief of staff, Johnson's office said on Friday (Nov 13).
Cummings had earlier been pictured walking out of Johnson's Downing Street office with a box in his arms, and several local outlets had reported he had quit his post with immediate effect.
Director of Communications Lee Cain would also stay in post until mid December.
"The Prime Minister has today asked Sir Edward Lister to take on the role of chief of staff for an interim period pending a permanent appointment to the post," A Downing Street spokesman said.
Cummings, a chief architect of the campaign to have Britain leave the European Union, has been a divisive figure inside the Conservative government since Johnson became prime minister 16 months ago.
His position weakened earlier this year after he drove hundreds of miles across England after contracting COVID-19, violating national lockdown rules and leaving the impression that elite officials didn't have to obey the same onerous rules as everyone else.
The episode fueled criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic after delays in the expansion of testing and efforts to avoid a second national lockdown in England. That lockdown was finally imposed last week, but it couldn’t stop the UK from becoming the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 deaths during the pandemic.