Johnson described United Kingdom health minister as ‘totally hopeless’, according to Cummings

Dominic Cummings

The revelations came in a blog post by former Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings, which included a series of screenshots purportedly showing WhatsApp exchanges between himself and the Prime Minister as ministers grappled with the crisis in spring a year ago.

Asked whether he believed he had been hopeless, Hancock replied from the backseat of his ministerial auto: "I don't think so".

Mr Hancock has denied the Brexit campaigner's allegations and said last week it was "telling" that he was yet to provide the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee with written evidence.

"This is more evidence that the Conservatives were too slow to lockdown, too slow to deliver PPE and too slow to protect our care homes", Justin Madders MP, Labour's Shadow Health Minister said.

In a series of posts that Cummings shared on Twitter and his blog, he and Johnson purportedly had several discussions about what they could do to stop the spread of coronavirus in the United Kingdom with Cummings being particularly critical of Hancock, a sentiment apparently echoed by Johnson.

In response, Mr Cummings described the department as a "total shitshow" and warned that the move could worsen the situation.

Among his explosive claims was his depiction of contrasting styles in the handling of key COVID meetings between Mr Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who deputised for the prime minister after Mr Johnson fell seriously ill with COVID.

Downing Street did not dispute the authenticity of the messages, or most of the claims made by Mr Johnson's former chief aide, but insisted the Prime Minister has full confidence in Mr Hancock.

And there's no sense that No 10 can be sure that Mr Cummings' revenge is spent.

Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in London on November 13, 2020.

Although Cummings, perhaps unsurprisingly, seems prone to sending essay-length messages, Johnson, in comparison, texts like a teenager and not a head of state.

"He let good officials actually question people so we started to get to the truth".

He said: "As we enter the chamber we see what is reported to be Whatsapp communication between the Prime Minister and Dominic Cummings and perhaps the Prime Minister will clarify whether or not these are genuine comments he expressed on his Health Secretary?". The Prime Minister confirms a four-week delay to the lifting of all restrictions in England beyond 21 June.

Mr Cummings alleged: "The lack of PPE killed NHS and care home staff in March-May".

Mr Cummings also wrote: "Why is No10 lying, including to Parliament, about the fact that the original plan was "herd immunity by September" and had to be abandoned?"

Johnson replied: "It's Hancock".

Johnson's opponents said the messages underlined the need for a rapid public inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic.

"Any minister who has been found to have broken the ministerial code and lied should and must resign".

Mr Cummings published the bombshell less than half an hour before prime minister's questions began, and Mr Johnson did not respond when asked in the Commons.



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