Chief adviser to No10 Dominic Cummings once pinned a political rival to a wall and threatened him, it is claimed in a new documentary.
Colin Perry, formerly of the Confederation of British Industry, clashed with Cummings in 1999 during a fiery late-night radio interview and said they almost came to blows afterwards.
His allegation comes as a friend said Cummings “might have fancied himself a bit of a gangster” after we obtained a picture of him “trying to look cool” while at Oxford in the 1990s.
Cummings’ friend said: “This picture is taken at the height of a Quentin Tarantino obsession. His Reservoir Dogs phase, if you like.”
In Taking Control: The Dominic Cummings Story, to be shown tonight, Mr Perry told Emily Maitlis of his encounter with Cummings.
He said: “We had to come down a rather narrow flight of steps from the studio. Suddenly I felt he’d grabbed my shoulders from behind and was trying to push me down the steps. I managed to keep my footing and make my way to the bottom.
“I turned around to confront him and he seized me by the tie, pushed me against the wall and raised his fist.
“My main feeling was one of self-preservation, to get out of his clutches.”
Despite a formal complaint made against him, Cummings kept his then job with an anti-Euro campaign group.
Mr Perry said: “If somebody in my business had assaulted somebody from a rival organisation, you’d have been summarily dismissed.”
Cummings, 48, did not respond to a BBC request for comment, but claimed at the time that he and Mr Perry had simply “stumbled into each other”.
Adam Dixon, who hired Cummings to set up an airline, described him as a “football hooligan with an Oxford First”. Former PM David Cameron labelled him a “career psychopath”.
- Taking Control: The Dominic Cummings Story, tonight, 9pm, BBC2.
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