In Depth

Weirdos wanted: five things we learnt from Dominic Cummings’ bizarre job advert

PM’s adviser posts 3,000-word blog post seeking ‘misfits’ to join him at No. 10

Boris Johnson’s right-hand man Dominic Cummings has posted an unusual job advert calling for “super-talented weirdos” to apply to work with him at 10 Downing Street.

Writing on his personal blog, Cummings sets out plans for a shake-up that will see staff with maths and physics PhDs teaming up with “weirdos and misfits with odd skills”.

The lengthy blog post also reveals that one successful applicant will be Cummings’ personal assistant for a year – although he warns that the role will involve tasks “which you won't enjoy”, the Daily Mail reports.

Here are five key things we learned from Cummings’ bizzare job ad:

1. He goes his own way

It’s clear that Cummings has little time for traditional Downing Street formalities, as evident in the structure of the rambling blog post.

The “advert”, which runs to almost 3,000 words, uses informal language and has been described as “bizarre” by the Daily Mail, “extraordinary” in The Telegraph and “bonkers” by the Daily Mirror.

As The Guardian says, applicants are instructed to send a one-page email outlining their ideas to an unofficial Gmail account - ideasfornumber10@gmail.com - with “Job” as the subject.

2. He wants to change the face of government

Cummings also appears to want to change the public face of the civil service by asking for unusual candidates who he sees as not normally associated with the roles listed.

“I don’t want confident public school bluffers,” he writes. Instead, he said Downing Street needs “unusual mathematicians”, physicists, computer scientists, data scientists and “assorted weirdos and misfits with odd skills”.

3. Oxbridge types are off the agenda 

In what the Telegraph calls “a broadside at political correctness”, Cummings also railed against people in Whitehall “babbling about ‘gender identity diversity blah blah’”.

“What SW1 needs is not more drivel about ‘identity’ and ‘diversity’ from Oxbridge humanities graduates but more genuine cognitive diversity.”

In a later section, he adds that he wanted to hire recent graduates in economics, stating: “You should a) have an outstanding record at a great university.” He does not say if this would exclude those who had studied at Oxford or Cambridge.

4. He has no concerns about being unpopular

The post notes that potential applicants should be aware that the government’s large majority means that it can make policy decisions that may be highly unpopular, unlike previous governments with smaller or non-existent majorities.

“Now there is a confluence of: a) Brexit requires many large changes in policy and in the structure of decision-making, b) some people in government are prepared to take risks to change things a lot, and c) a new government with a significant majority and little need to worry about short-term unpopularity,” he writes.

5. He is a tough taskmaster

Cummings says that one of his new hires will be “a sort of personal assistant to me for a year” but warns applicants: “You will not have weekday date nights, you will sacrifice many weekends.

“Frankly it will hard having a boy/girlfriend at all,” he continues. “It will be exhausting but interesting, and if you cut it you will be involved in things at the age of 21 that most people never see.”

“I want people who are much brighter than me who can work in an extreme environment,” he adds.

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