Matt Hancock rejects Dominic Cummings' claims he should have been sacked

Elias Hubbard
May 27, 2021

Such was Johnson's scepticism about Covid-19, he even told officials he was considering getting the government's chief medical advisor to inject him with the novel coronavirus to show the public it was not a big threat, Cummings said.

"I think that the Secretary of State for Health (Hancock), should have been fired for at least 15, 20 things including lying to everybody in multiple occasions in meeting after meeting in the cabinet room and publicly", Cummings told a parliamentary committee.

Asked about Cummings's critique at a weekly question-and-answer session in parliament, Johnson said nobody could credibly accuse him or his government of complacency.

The Prime Minister, according to Mr Cummings, regretted the March 2020 lockdown by the summer, repeatedly saying he should have been like the mayor in the film Jaws who "kept the beaches open" despite the dangers.

Cummings repeated an allegation, which Johnson has denied, that the prime minister late previous year said he would rather "let the bodies pile high" than impose a second lockdown.

"We have worked flat out to minimise loss of life", he said, without directly addressing numerous claims of the man who had been his closest adviser before an acrimonious split late past year, and who personally witnessed many of his actions. He did not directly address many of Cummings's claims.

Asked for an example, Cummings said Hancock had said that all patients got the treatment they needed during the first peak of the virus.

By the time Mr Johnson did order another lockdown in late October, Mr Cummings said their relationship had broken down.

"The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me, fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this".

He also alleged that Mr Johnson was too cavalier about the pandemic early past year, saying it was like "swine flu" and that he should be injected with Covid on live television to calm fears.

Mr Hancock was repeatedly attacked by the prime minister's former adviser during a seven-hour-long committee hearing.

During his evidence, Mr Cummings said security concerns around his London home had been an additional, previously undisclosed, factor in the decision.

Comparing officials' eventual realisation of the situation to a scene in the movie "Independence Day" after an alien invasion, Mr Cummings said the deputy cabinet secretary conceded to him that "there is no plan, we're in huge trouble". I think this country is headed for disaster.

Cummings said there had been no data system to deal with COVID, no way to understand its spread and "not even a plan to bury all the bodies".

"I take full responsibility for everything that has happened", Johnson told lawmakers on Wednesday.

He added he "would like to say to all the families of the people who died how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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