DOMINIC Cummings, the Prime Minister’s senior adviser, is facing allegations of hypocrisy, after it emerged he has a family farm in the North-East that has received £235,000 from Brussels.

The controversial ‘Brexit enforcer’, who masterminded the Leave campaign, is said to be against the “absurd subsidies” paid out by the European Union and wants to free the UK from its rules and regulations.

But a study in The Observer has shown his farm on the outskirts of Durham City has benefitted from the system he plans to remove, despite the impact it would have on the farming community.

Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “It is hypocritical of him to take subsidies for a farm that I understand he co-owns with his parents.

“These are the very same subsidies that he has said are ‘absurd and unjust’.”

Mr Cummings, the son of an oil rig project manager and a special needs teacher, was born in Durham in 1971.

He went to the fee-paying Durham School before going on to study Ancient and Modern History at Exeter College, Oxford, where got a first-class degree, graduating in 1994.

He worked on several projects in Russia before carving out a career as a political strategist, which has culminated in his appointment as the Prime Minister’s special advisor.

It is understood his father bought North Lodge Farm, on the A167 Darlington Road, on the outskirts of Durham, after retiring from the oil industry, but it is unclear when Mr Cummings became a co-owner.

The property website Prime Location, shows North Lodge was bought for £230,000 in 1999, almost the same amount claimed in handouts over the years.

Reports claim Mr Cummings was a listed as a co-owner in 2013, and had moved there in 2002, after leaving his job as director of strategy for the Conservative Party., a website which lists EU rural subsidies, shows the farm received almost €208,000 between 2000 and 2009, roughly €20,000 a year.

It is understood the subsidies were paid out to Mr Cummings’s parents and another family member for several reasons including “set aside”, a former scheme that paid farmers not to grow anything.

The Observer claims a separate website, operated by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, shows further payments of roughly £6,500 each were made to Mr Cummings’s parents “for practices beneficial for climate and environment” in 2017 and 2018 while a third, offline database, reveals that subsidies worth nearly £19,000 were paid out in 2014.

Mr Cummings has criticised the use of agricultural subsidies “dreamed up in the 1950s and 1960s” because they “raise prices for the poor to subsidise rich farmers while damaging agriculture in Africa.”

It was his claim leaving the EU would allow the UK to spend an extra £350m a week on the NHS, and he is now helping Boris Johnson with his aim of leaving the EU on October, whether the UK has a deal, or not.

Dr Blackman-Woods said: “The more serious issue about this is how the Government intends to support British farmers after Brexit as we have no details about that yet and many farmers are extremely worried about their future livelihoods and the impact on food production in the UK.

“There are now also huge questions about how the farming sector and others will fare in a no deal Brexit situation which Cummings appears to be comfortable with as a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU will undoubtedly damage our economy.

“Personally, I think we need to explore why MPs with links to landed gentry are such fervent Brexiteers.

“It is time we had a good look as what large landowners think they have to gain from Brexit.”

The Northern Echo approached the Cummings family at North Lodge for comment but a woman who answered the intercom system said they did not wish to discuss the matter.

A spokeswoman for 10 Downing Street said there would be no comment.