Here is the news from Downing Street. As of mid-morning no-one else has resigned. I repeat… no-one else has resigned. Oh, hold on, someone called “Sonic” (a Brexiteer called Oliver) may have resigned by mistake but his position and situation remains unclear.

What a 24 hours it has been in the life of this government. Last night, the Prime Minister’s communications director, Lee Cain, ally of Dominic Cummings, quit. Cain had been offered a promotion, to the post of chief of staff. After a backlash – from Boris’s partner Carrie and new face of Number 10 Allegra Stratton, plus some of the cabinet – Boris withdrew the offer and Cain quit.

Cain boxed himself out of a job.

A furious Dominic Cummings then considered his position. But he has decided to stay. What does that mean? It means that Cummings is diminished in the power structure, having lost a key ally. Number 10 will now switch to a more collegiate style of comms.

Cummings main interest, though, was always policy and the restructuring of the state. He’ll stick around for a while to try and have an influence – he’ll never get another chance at this level. But his power has waned.

The roots of this farce lie in the appointment of Stratton several months ago. Cain had instigated the search for a US-style TV spokesman for the government, when it was fashionable to moan about how annoying TV hacks were during the Covid press conferences. Cain then lost control of the appointment process, Boris picked Allegra, and Cain discovered he had set in motion a process that imported his rival and nemesis into Number 10.

There is another dimension to the infighting – namely, Brexit. There are suggestions that the Vote Leave crowd is unhappy with the proposed deal that Johnson may sign with Brexit coming down the track in weeks and business appalled that there is no firm answer yet on how things will look.

It was suggested last night that Lord Frost, the chief negotiator, might quit the government, although that always sounded implausible as he’s not part of the Vote Leave gang. He’s a diplomat by training, unlikely to run out at the culmination of a negotiation.

The search for a Number 10 chief of staff goes on.

“Boris has asked everyone,” says a friend. But no-one – yet – wants to do it. The thought of going in, putting a career and livelihood on the line, to join the infighting is, it seems, unappealing.

Allies of Michael Gove are now being tipped for the chief of staff post. More later…

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