DOMINIC Cummings is under fire for a behind-the-scenes role in ousting Britain's civil service boss amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Mark Sedwill, the UK's top civil servant, announced yesterday he had agreed to stand down from his role as both cabinet secretary and the UK’s national security adviser.

In his letter to Boris Johnson announcing his resignation, Sedwill suggested the PM had wanted him to go, writing: “We have agreed that I will stand down and leave government service at the end of September.”

His removal was seen as a win for Cummings who, according to The Times, is said to have told a meeting of political aides that a “hard rain is going to fall” after explaining he believed Whitehall’s shortcomings had been uncovered during the Covid crisis.

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Sir Ed Davey, acting leader of the LibDems, said Johnson had given his de facto chief of staff what he wanted in forcing the cabinet secretary out.

“Boris Johnson is clearly ready to grant Cummings his every wish when it comes to politicising the Civil Service and sweeping out those who may try to hold his government to account,” said the former energy secretary.

Labour’s shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire questioned the timing of the announcement and suggested Cummings had worked with the PM on the decision.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour yesterday, she said: “Why should this happen now?

“Why have Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson decided that now is the time for a hard rain to fall on our loyal civil servants?”