Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

PM called Matt Hancock 'f------ hopeless' in text to Dominic Cummings

Screenshot of What'sApp mesageas Boris Johnson called his Health Secretary Matt Hancock 'f*****g hopeless' leaked WhatsApp messages show
Cecil Davis | 17 June, 2021, 14:21

Asked if the Prime Minister called Hancock hopeless, the spokesman said: "I'm not planning to engage with every allegation put forward, the Prime Minister worked very closely with the health and care secretary throughout and continues to do so".

It follows the publication of messages appearing to show the Prime Minister labelling the Health Secretary Matt Hancock as "Totally f****** hopeless".

Downing Street has insisted Boris Johnson has full confidence in Health Secretary Matt Hancock but did not dispute the authenticity of messages in which he apparently called him hopeless.

Hancock last week accused Cummings, who left Downing Street acrimoniously previous year, of failing to produce evidence to support his claims that Hancock had lied frequently to the prime minister throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

He also appears to have suggested he was contemplating removing the responsibility for procuring PPE from Mr Hancock and handing it to Michael Gove.

In one exchange on March 3 previous year, Mr Cummings highlighted the US's rapid increase of testing capacity and criticised Mr Hancock for saying he was "sceptical" about meeting a new United Kingdom target having earlier said it would "definitely" be met.

In one exchange, which Mr Cummings said was part of late-night messages on 26 March 2020, he and Mr Johnson are shown to be discussing actions from "MH" in boosting the UK's COVID testing capacity.

At the end of his blogpost, Mr Cummings listed a "few simple questions" to ask Mr Johnson.

Yet it is clear that the PM had next to no confidence in his Health Secretary from as long ago as March 2020.

A source close to Mr Hancock later added: "No evidence has been provided today to back up previous unsubstantiated suggestions".

"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.

COVID-19 on Vancouver Island
There are now 2,051 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., and of the 203 people in hospital, 57 are in intensive care. The Gamma variant first identified in Brazil accounts for around 40 per cent of B.C. cases.

But Mr Cummings described the cabinet office as a "total shitshow" and said the move would "have a severe risk of making it worse not better".

Mr Cummings, who was forced out of his role as chief aide to the prime minister at the end of previous year, also claims a promised public inquiry into the Covid crisis would not fix the problems.

Cummings has excoriated the government on social media and in last month testimony to Parliament, where he said Hancock "should have been fired" for a series of alleged lies and a litany of errors during the pandemic.

In one screenshotted exchange apparently between himself and the prime minister, Cummings appeared to highlight the urgent need for the government to ramp up COVID-19 testing across the country, and criticising Hancock for missing targets he had previously set.

Mr Cummings countered this by pointing out that Mr Johnson had diverted responsibility for vaccines to Dame Kate Bingham, testing to Baroness Harding, and PPE to Lord Deighton.

The PM's former aide accuses Mr Hancock of trying to rewrite history at a select committee session last week.

"The lack of PPE killed NHS and care home staff in March-May", he writes.

In another reply, Johnson blamed Hancock for the UK's difficulty in getting hold of ventilators.

"I don't plan to get into the detail of what's been published".

He said: "I can't think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting Gove on".