Who could have imagined that gender wars would break out in Number Ten and lead to the downfall of Boris Johnson's Brexit miracle-worker Dominic Cummings? But that seems to be the story behind the story. We're told that the “posh wimmin” like the Prime Minister's fiancee, Carrie Symonds, mounted a palace coup against the rough-and-ready “Brexit lads”, like ex-tabloid hack Lee Cain.

Suddenly they are history: Cain and unable. No more calls by Dom Cummings for “misfits and weirdos” or missives from his “bat-cave”, no more bending Covid rules with impunity. Like many similarly over-promoted and unelected advisers of the past – Tony Blair's house Caliban Alistair Campbell comes to mind – Dominic Cummings had “become the news” and had to go, which is fitting because he invented a lot of it.

This split is also about politics and Covid, but it has a lot to do with personality – which matters in the neurotic, caffeine-filled rooms of Number Ten. Mr Cummings antagonised just about everyone who worked for him with his authoritarian micro-management. His minions allegedly inflicted heinous “micro-aggressions” on female staff, picking on them in meetings and accusing them of leaking to the press. The many intelligent women in Boris Johnson's inner circle – like Islingtonian ex-Guardianista Allegra Stratton, soon to be his media spokeswoman, and his super-bright head of policy, Munira Mirza – were never going to bend to the bidding of a sexist Brexiteer.

Cummings' crew had reportedly dubbed the Prime Minister's fiancee “princess nut nuts” because of Ms Symonds' alleged resemblance to a squirrel and her passion for animal rights. Cummings had forced out Sajid Javid's special adviser, Sonia Khan, under police escort, after accusing her of briefing journalists. That prompted the resignation of the Chancellor himself and a claim for unfair dismissal that had to be settled by a five-figure sum to Ms Khan.

Ms Symonds – herself a former Tory Party director of communications – organised what might be called a NOT metoo campaign, initially against the abrasive head of comms, Lee Cain, a Cummings mini me. She enlisted civil servants and party figures whose noses had been put out of joint by Cummings. It's not known whether she deployed the tactics of Lysistrata during the Peloponnesian war and threatened to withhold marital privileges, but as a classicist Boris would surely have been aware of the risk. Johnson's biographer, Tom Bower, claims the Prime Minister has few male friends and tends to form close relations with women – often very close.

At any rate, Mr Cain resigned in the subsequent furore, and Cummings threatened to go with him taking all the young policy geeks in train. The Prime Minister persuaded his chief strategist to wait until the New Year. To be fair, that is when Mr Cummings always said he expected to “become redundant” because Brexit would be done and dusted. Though I don't think this is quite what he meant. He'll be out before Christmas.

The Conor McGregor of the culture war had become a victim of it. The loathing of Cummings extended deep into the cabinet and the wider Conservative parliamentary party. Many Tory MPs believe the spade-calling northerner could never be “one of us” and lacked the social skills to manage Whitehall mandarins. And of course, Cummings never was one of them, since he never joined the Conservative Party. The former Prime Minister, David Cameron, called Cummings a “career psychopath”.

The figure who provoked Dom's departure, Mr Johnson’s director of communications Lee Cain, or “Caino”, is a former Sun reporter with, some say, a passing resemblance to Roland Rat. Indeed, he was suspected of being the “chatty rat” who'd leaked the recent cabinet decision to go into lockdown in England. This was supposedly intended to bounce a dithering Prime Minister into going ahead with a policy with which he was only half convinced. Contrary to popular belief, Cummings has always been a hard-line Covid lock-downer, which makes his Barnard Castle exploits even harder to justify.

As director of comms, Cain had already caused apoplexy by boycotting BBC programmes like Today and banning Remain-supporting journalists from briefings. Lee and Dom's fingerprints were also on the ludicrous idea of imposing two crusty old reactionaries, Lord Dacre, ex of the Daily Mail, and Charles Moore of the Telegraph, as director general and chairman of the BBC respectively. It didn't happen.

Cummings only took the job as Boris Johnson's chief strategist because of his commitment to Brexit and his burning desire to demolish the smug liberal elite that rules in Whitehall and the political and media establishments. His terms for continuing to work with Johnson after Vote Leave was that he would have absolute control over staffing and communications in Number Ten.

That Devil's Bargain worked spectacularly well – for a while. He helped a weak and inexperience Prime Minister defy a rebellious party and a Remain-supporting House of Commons – and also Lady Hale's Supreme Court after the prorogation row. His ultra-disciplined “Get Brexit Done” message then helped the Tories win an 80-seat majority in the 2019 general election.

But it was irresponsible to give any unelected adviser this kind of power. Tory MPs and staffers may have appreciated Dom's micromanagement during the election campaign but it was no way to run a government. At least, that's what everyone now says. Cummings is being blamed for the series of gaffes, U-turns and mishaps that have come to define Boris Johnson's administration during the pandemic, such as over free school meals, duff PPE, track and trace, and the timing of lockdown.

Cummings is an easy scapegoat for all this. An eccentric and divisive figure, with his grunge and grudges, he is easy to let go. With a vaccine coming, and the possibility of a return to normal politics, it is convenient for Boris Johnson to try to draw a line under this most undistinguished phase of his premiership. But it is naive to think that Cummings was responsible for all the U-turns. The key decisions were all taken by the Prime Minister.

We're told Boris Johnson will now be a more liberal and collegiate leader. He will restore cabinet government, end the culture wars, replace Brexit-mania with a focus on climate change. He will also take a more constructive approach to Scotland, according to reports. He realises that he needs to do more than just say no to Indyref2.

What will this new “cuddly” Boris do to save the Union? Surely not attempt to love bomb Scotland – that was tested to destruction by David Cameron in 2014. Perhaps he'll send Carrie Symonds as a special ambassador to the court of Nicola Sturgeon so they can share tales of micro-aggressions and toxic male behaviour. Or maybe make Baroness Ruth Davidson Scottish Secretary in the Cabinet.

Scottish voters may not have had much time for Dominic Cummings, but he is not the problem here: it is Boris Johnson. He is so massively unpopular that many opponents of independence are now voting Yes. With Scotland as with Covid, the Prime Minister may find that taking back control from Dom is not as easy as it looks.