MATT Hancock today hit back at Dominic Cummings’ bombshell blasts – and said it wasn’t true he lied over sending Covid-infected Brits back into care homes.
After the ex-PM aide’s sensational allegations to MPs yesterday, today the Health Sec hit back and accused him of misleading the public – but refused to get drawn into any details.An emotional Matt Hancock hit back at Cummings today[/caption]
He will also give a press conference at 5pm to update the nation on the latest news on the vaccine rollout – and the Indian variant.
A bruised Mr Hancock, who appeared emotional in the Commons, told MPs: “These unsubstantiated allegations around honesty are not true.
“I’ve been straight with people in public and in private throughout. Everyday since I began working on the response to this pandemic last January … I’ve got up and asked what can I do to protect life?
“That is the job of the Health Secretary in a pandemic.”
Mr Hancock said he hasn’t seen the claims against him in full yet because he’s been too busy “dealing with getting the vaccination rollout going, especially to over-30s, and saving lives”.
He said the Health Secretary should have been fired at least 15 times for lying and incompetence in an extraordinarily personal attack.
The ex No 10 chief adviser claimed he and other “senior people” in Government repeatedly urged the PM to give Mr Hancock the boot over “at least 15-20 things” he did wrong.
And he claimed that Boris Johnson almost kicked him out last April – but ultimately decided not to.
In a jaw-dropping appearance before MPs yesterday he laid into Mr Hancock in extraordinarily personal fashion and accused him of botching the early response to the spread of the virus.
It came as…
- Dominic Cummings branded the PM ‘unfit for the job’ and said ‘tens of thousands died who didn’t need to’
- The ex No 10 aide insisted Boris did DID say he’d rather ‘let the bodies pile high’ rather than have third lockdown
- And he claimed ‘criminal Matt Hancock should’ve been fired at least 15 times
- The Health Secretary prepared to defend himself today at a 5pm press conference in No 10
- Mr Cummings’ blockbuster testimony was set to leave Westminster reeling for a second day
Meanwhile, Mr Hancock was today thrown a lifeline by predecessor Jeremy Hunt who said the charge sheet against him is “unproven” and the allegations should be just that until they get any evidence of them.
But after seeing his reputation shredded by the former No10 aide, Mr Hancock dodged crunch questions over whether he lied about failing to test hospital patients who were discharged into care homes, killing tens of thousands.
He would only say that “so many of the allegations were unsubstantiated” and stressed that the only way to battle a pandemic was by “bringing people together and inspiring hope”.
In a sassy slap down of the PM’s former aide since he was booted out of No10, Mr Hancock said: “It is absolutely true that the operation and functioning of Government has got easier this past six months.”
Tory MPs rallied around the Health Sec today, labelling Cummings’ claims “outrageous” from an “unelected spad who broke Covid rules”.
Peter Bone blasted: “He wasn’t fit to be in Downing Street. The only mistake the PM made during the pandemic was that he didn’t fire Dominic Cummings early enough.”
Sources close to the Health Secretary described Mr Cummings as a “psychopath” and a “complete snake”.
They said the former No 10 guru had never challenged him directly about any of his claims.
A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: “We absolutely reject Mr Cummings’ claims about the Health Secretary.Mr Hancock brushed off the claims as he left his house this morning[/caption] Mr Cummings launched a huge attack on Mr Hancock yesterday in his commons grilling[/caption]
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“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.”
Mr Cummings said at the start of the outbreak last year the Department of Health was a “smoking ruin” and had “no plan” for how to shield the vulnerable.