Hancock 'dismisses' Cummings' claim he was a 'liar who should've been sacked'

Matt Hancock appeared to dismiss sensational claims made by Dominic Cummings that he was a ‘liar’ who should have been sacked.

Among a string of explosive claims the ex-advisor said Mr Hancock should have been fired over Covid failings and “criminal, disgraceful behaviour” on the testing target.

In response the Health Secretary told reporters he had not seen the ‘performance’ in full and was busy ‘saving lives.’

On Wednesday Dominic Cummings delivered a seven-hour searing assessment of incompetence, failure and arrogance at the top of government.

He claimed the PM was consistently anti-lockdown, ignored scientific advice and failed to take Covid seriously – even ranting last summer that he should never have done Lockdown 1.

Dominic Cummings
Dominic Cummings spoke at a committee hearing at Portcullis house yesterday

He also took aim at Matt Hancock whom he branded “disgraceful” – and potentially “criminal.”

As he arrived at his north London home last night, Mr Hancock was asked for his reaction to the allegations to MPs.

He replied: “I haven’t seen this performance today in full, and instead I’ve been dealing with getting the vaccination rollout going, especially to over-30s, and saving lives.

“I’ll be giving a statement to the House of Commons tomorrow and I’ll have more to say then.”

Downing Street did not deny that the Prime Minister considered sacking the Health Secretary in April last year but insisted Mr Johnson has confidence in him now, as Mr Hancock disputed the allegations.

Mr Cummings said there were around 20 reasons why Mr Hancock should have been thrown out of the Cabinet – including, he claimed, lying both in meetings and publicly.

Mr Hancock used chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance as “shields” to blame for his failures, Mr Cummings claimed.

He said Mr Hancock performed “disastrously” below the standards expected and the cabinet secretary – the country’s top civil servant – recommended the Health Secretary should be sacked.

Mr Cummings said that while Donald Trump was ordering the CIA to “gazump” rival countries on orders for personal protective equipment (PPE), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was still trying to get orders from China by ship.

“I think the Secretary of State for Health should’ve been fired for at least 15, 20 things, including lying to everybody on multiple occasions in meeting after meeting in the Cabinet room and publicly,” Mr Cummings said.

“There’s no doubt at all that many senior people performed far, far disastrously below the standards which the country has a right to expect. I think the Secretary of State for Health is certainly one of those people.”

Mr Hancock was lined up to lead a coronavirus press conference from Downing Street on Thursday as he rejected Mr Cummings’ allegations.

“We absolutely reject Mr Cummings’ claims about the Health Secretary,” a spokesman for Mr Hancock said.

“The Health Secretary will continue to work closely with the Prime Minister to deliver the vaccine rollout, tackle the risks posed by variants and support the NHS and social care sector to recover from this pandemic.”

He insisted the Health Secretary had “worked incredibly hard in unprecedented circumstances to protect the NHS and save lives”.

Mr Hancock will appear before the same committee where the series of hard-hitting allegations were levelled on June 10.


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