Boris Johnson’s special adviser has said MPs will stop getting threats and abuse if they “respect” the EU referendum result.
Dominic Cummings – the PM’s de facto chief of staff – was speaking for the first time since Supreme Court judges ruled the prime minister’s proroguing of parliament was unlawful.
The Vote Leave campaign’s chief strategist laughed off suggestions Mr Johnson and his team were under “enormous pressure” to get a Brexit deal, saying it was a “walk in the park” compared to the referendum.
His comments, at a Vote Leave backer’s book launch, also come as Mr Johnson refused to give in to calls to apologise over his use of language in the House of Commons, including using MP Jo Cox’s murder to insist Brexit gets done.
Mr Cummings, the brains behind the PM’s Brexit strategy, condemned threats of violence to MPs and said he knew both Leave and Remain politicians who have had serious threats “and it is obviously bad”.
But, he added that it is “not surprising some people are angry” about how MPs are dealing with Brexit.
“The MPs said we will have a referendum, we will respect the result and then they spent three years swerving all over the shop,” he said.
“It is not surprising some people are angry about it.
“I find it very odd that these characters are complaining that people are unhappy about their behaviour now and they also say they want a referendum. How does that compute for them?
“If you are a bunch of politicians and say that we swear we are going to respect the result of a democratic vote, and then after you lose you say, we don’t want to respect that vote, what do you expect to happen?”
When asked if he meant MPs are to blame for the abuse they are receiving, Mr Cummings said: “That’s the way you’re putting it. I am using my language.”
The highly divisive Brexit adviser added: “A lot of people in Parliament are more out of touch with the country now, than they were in summer 2016.”
Mr Cummings said he and the prime minister are “enjoying” the pressure of Brexit negotiations.
He said: “We are not under pressure, the referendum was pressure. The referendum was difficult. This is a walk in the park compared to the referendum.
“We are enjoying this, we are going to leave and we are going to win.”
Earlier in the day Mr Cummings was captured on film being confronted by Labour MP Karl Turner about death threats he said he has received since calling the PM out on Wednesday in the Commons for “laughing and joking” and using “agressive language” towards MPs after the Supreme Court ruling.
As the angry MP questioned the adviser, Mr Cummings told him to “get Brexit done” before saying he did not know who Mr Turner was.
It is not the first altercation Mr Cummings has had with MPs, after notably calling former Brexit secretary David Davis “thick as mince, lazy as a toad, and vain as Narcissus” – the Greek god who fell in love with his own reflection.
He is also believed to have been influential in helping Michael Gove stab Mr Johnson in the back during the 2016 Tory leadership campaign by Mr Gove announcing at the 11th hour he would be standing instead of supporting Mr Johnson.
David Cameron labelled Mr Cummings a “career psychopath” after he called the then prime minister “bumbling”, his chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, “a sychophant presiding over a shambolic court”, and his director of communications, Craig Oliver, “clueless”.