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Cummings in Downing Street in September. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Dominic Cummings left Downing Street on Friday with a box of possessions, bringing his tumultuous tenure as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser to a sudden end amid a bitter power struggle among Johnson's aides.

Why it matters: Cummings came to national attention as the director of the successful "Vote Leave" Brexit campaign. Since entering Downing Street he's been depicted in somewhat Machiavellian terms — as the power behind Johnson's throne. He also caused a national uproar in May by declining to resign after breaking lockdown rules.

Update: While the BBC reports that Cummings was told to leave Downing Street "with immediate effect," multiple outlets have reported that he'll officially remain in his post until mid-December.

Go deeper

Jan 4, 2021 - World

England to enter 3rd national lockdown as cases surge at record pace

Johnson getting his temperature taken. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that England will enter a six-week lockdown, as the spread of a highly contagious new coronavirus variant threatens to overwhelm the National Health Service.

Why it matters: It's England's third national lockdown, following the initial March restrictions during the start of the pandemic and a four-week "circuit-breaker" in November.

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.