Dominic Cummings says Matt Hancock ‘should have been fired’
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During a seven-hour-long committee hearing, the Prime Minister’s former top aide described Mr Hancock as “completely incapable of doing the job”. Mr Cummings also said the Health Secretary “should have been fired” for lying.
He also criticised Mr Hancock for PPE shortages and “stupid” COVID-19 testing targets.
Mr Hancock’s spokesman said: “We absolutely reject Mr Cummings’ claims about the health secretary.
“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.”
On Wednesday, Mr Hancock said he did not watch all of Mr Cummings’ testimony to MPs because he was “dealing with getting the vaccination rollout going, especially to over 30s, and saving lives”.
He added: “I’ll be giving a statement in the House of Commons tomorrow [Thursday] and I’ll have more to say then.”
Mr Hancock is set to appear in the Commons at around 10.30am on Thursday to answer an urgent question tabled by Labour over the Government’s handling of the pandemic.
The Health Secretary is also expected to lead a COVID-19 press conference later in the day.
Mr Cummings told the joint science and technology and health select committee: “I think the secretary of state for health should have 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.
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“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.”
The former aide revealed he had encouraged Boris Johnson to fire Mr Hancock and claimed the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill recommended the same move.
Mr Cummings said the Prime Minister “came close to removing” Mr Hancock in April last year, “but just fundamentally wouldn’t do it”.
Downing Street has not denied that Mr Johnson considered sacking Mr Hancock last year but insisted that the Prime Minister has confidence in him now.
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