Matt Hancock as we speak insisted he had ‘no concept’ why Dominic Cummings hates him a lot as he denied claims that he ‘lied’ to fellow ministers and the general public in regards to the coronavirus response.
The Well being Secretary replied bluntly ‘No’ when he was requested by science committee chair Greg Clark whether or not he had misled Boris Johnson about folks being examined earlier than getting back from hospitals to care properties.
He mentioned he clueless over why Mr Cummings was concentrating on him particularly over the issues. However he admitted that he knew the PM’s prime aide had needed him sacked as a result of there was ‘briefing to the newspapers’.
Mr Clark kicked off the session by confirming that Mr Cummings has but to offer promised proof backing up the barrage of allegations he made about Mr Hancock final month.
The previous No10 chief additionally branded Mr Hancock ‘disastrously incompetent’ and mentioned he ought to have been sacked on a number of events.
However Mr Clark mentioned that Mr Cummings had missed deadlines to again up his claims, and so they should be considered as ‘unproven’. Mr Hancock mentioned the dearth of proof was ‘telling’.
Among the many grenades lobbed by Mr Cummings at his personal listening to final month was that Mr Johnson had been livid to find that individuals have been discharged from hospitals to care properties with out coronavirus exams.
Mr Hancock has beforehand insisted he solely dedicated to constructing capability for testing initially of the disaster in March final 12 months.
There was hypothesis that Mr Cummings is likely to be ready till the listening to to drop his proof for optimum impact.
The row was fuelled this morning as a number of of the UK’s largest care house operators mentioned they repeatedly warned the Division of Well being in regards to the dangers of not testing folks going again to care properties on the time.
Matt Hancock replied bluntly ‘No’ when he was requested by science committee chair Greg Clark whether or not he had misled colleagues about folks being examined earlier than returning to care properties.
Matt Hancock will discipline hours of questions from a cross-party committee as he confronts the barrage of allegations from maverick former No10 chief Dominic Cummings (pictured)
Mr Hancock ignored questions from journalists as he left his London house this morning. He has already denied the allegations, saying he solely dedicated to constructing capability for testing initially of the disaster in March final 12 months
Matt Hancock’s ‘lies’ based on Cummings
Dominic Cummings claimed in his bombshell committee proof that there have been ‘quite a few’ examples of Matt Hancock mendacity throughout the pandemic.
He gave 4 foremost examples – all of which Mr Hancock has made clear he rejects.
‘Lie’ 1: Hospital sufferers have been being examined for Covid earlier than they went again to care properties
On care properties, Mr Cummings instructed MPs Authorities discuss of placing a defend round care properties was ‘full nonsense’.
‘We have been instructed categorically in March (by Mr Hancock) that individuals can be examined earlier than they went again to properties, we solely subsequently discovered that that hadn’t occurred.
‘Now whereas the Authorities rhetoric was now we have put a defend round care properties and blah blah blah, it was full nonsense. Fairly the alternative of placing a defend round them, we despatched folks with Covid again to the care properties.’
‘Lie’ 2: Sufferers have been getting therapy they wanted in first peak
Mr Cummings alleged Mr Hancock lied about everyone getting the therapy they deserved within the first peak when ‘many individuals have been left to die in horrific circumstances’.
Requested to offer proof of the Well being Secretary’s mendacity, the previous chief aide to the Prime Minister instructed the Commons committee: ‘There are quite a few examples. I imply in the summertime he mentioned that everyone who wanted therapy acquired the therapy that they required.
‘He knew that that was a lie as a result of he had been briefed by the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical officer himself in regards to the first peak, and we have been instructed explicitly folks didn’t get the therapy they deserved, many individuals have been left to die in horrific circumstances.’
‘Lie’ 3: Pandemic plans have been as much as scratch
Mr Cummings mentioned that assurances given to him by Mr Hancock in January final 12 months that pandemic preparations have been good ‘have been principally utterly hole’.
The previous chief aide to the Prime Minister instructed the Commons committee he obtained a response from Well being Secretary Matt Hancock assuring: ‘We have full plans as much as and together with pandemic ranges often ready and refreshed, CMOs and epidemiologists, we’re stress testing now, it is our prime tier threat register, now we have an SR bid earlier than this.’
Mr Cummings instructed the committee: ‘I wish to stress and apologise for the truth that it’s true that I did this however I didn’t comply with up on this and push it the best way I ought to’ve achieved.
‘We have been instructed in No 10 on the time that that is actually prime of the chance register, this has been deliberate and there is been workouts on this again and again, everybody is aware of what to do.
‘And it is form of tragic in a approach, that somebody who wrote so typically about working pink groups and never trusting issues and never digging into issues, while I used to be working pink groups about a lot of different issues in authorities right now, I did not do it on this.
‘If I had mentioned on the finish of January, we’ll take a Saturday and I would like all of those paperwork placed on the desk and I would like all of it gone by and I would like outdoors specialists to take a look at all of it, then we might have discovered a lot, a lot earlier that each one the claims about good preparations and the way every little thing was so as have been principally utterly hole, however we did not determine this out till the again finish of February.’
‘Lie’ 4: PPE provides have been hampered by NHS and Treasury
Mr Cummings made an allegation that Mr Hancock squirmed over shortages of PPE throughout the pandemic.
He claimed that in mid-April, simply earlier than he and the PM have been identified with having Covid, Mr Hancock gave assurances that ‘every little thing is okay with PPE, we have got all of it lined, and so forth, and so forth’.
Nevertheless, when Mr Cummings returned to work he found there was a ‘catastrophe over PPE and the way we have been truly utterly quick, hospitals everywhere in the nation have been working out’.
‘The Secretary of State mentioned in that assembly that is the fault of Simon Stevens, that is the fault of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it is not my fault, they’ve blocked approvals on all types of issues. I mentioned to the cupboard secretary, please examine this and discover out if it is true,’ Mr Cummings claimed.
‘The Cupboard Secretary got here again to me and mentioned it is utterly unfaithful, I’ve misplaced confidence within the Secretary of State’s honesty in these conferences. The Cupboard Secretary mentioned that to me and the Cupboard Secretary mentioned that to the Prime Minister.’
… And the alleged hampering of take a look at & hint to hit ‘extremely silly’ each day testing goal
Mr Cummings took goal at Mr Hancock over his introduction of a goal of finishing up 100,000 exams a day final summer time.
‘This was an extremely silly factor to do as a result of we already had that purpose internally,’ Mr Cummings mentioned.
‘What then occurred once I got here again across the thirteenth was I began getting calls and No 10 have been getting calls saying Hancock is interfering with the constructing of the take a look at and hint system as a result of he is telling everyone what to do to maximise his probabilities of hitting his silly goal by the tip of the month.
‘We had half the Authorities with me in No 10 calling round frantically saying don’t do what Hancock says, construct the factor correctly for the medium time period.
‘And we had Hancock calling all of them saying down instruments on this, do that, maintain exams again so I can hit my goal.’
Mr Cummings claimed that Mr Hancock ought to have been ‘fired for that factor alone’.
‘The entire of April was vastly disrupted by completely different components of Whitehall essentially making an attempt to function in numerous methods utterly as a result of Hancock needed to have the ability to go on TV and say ‘have a look at me and my 100k goal’,’ the previous aide mentioned.
‘It was legal, disgraceful behaviour that prompted severe hurt.
In keeping with the Guardian, Care England raised considerations over ‘lack of testing in hospitals and within the care sector’ with the Division of Well being and Social Care ‘a number of occasions’.
The Care Suppliers Alliance are additionally mentioned to have instructed the Authorities to ‘prioritise testing for care residents’ in March 2020 and emailed Mr Hancock on to warn anybody discharged from hospital to social care settings ‘MUST be examined earlier than discharge’.
Mr Hancock has since denied promising hospital to care house testing and instructed the Commons final month that it was not attainable to check everybody leaving hospital for social care initially of the pandemic as a result of the capability was not obtainable.
He added ‘his recollection’ was committing to delivering testing for folks going from hospital into care properties ‘after we might do it’.
Care properties are prone to be the principle subject of questioning on the joint session of the Commons well being and science committees.
Mr Cummings has been instructed by senior MPs that his allegations about Mr Hancock can be thought-about ‘unsubstantiated’ if he failed to offer proof.
The controversial former adviser has already missed a deadline set by the 2 choose committees he appeared earlier than to again up his claims, it emerged yesterday.
Greg Clark and Jeremy Hunt, who chair the science and well being committees respectively, wrote to Mr Cummings setting a deadline of June 4.
Concerning his claims on Mr Hancock, they mentioned: ‘We’re positive you perceive that with out additional proof now we have to contemplate these allegations as unsubstantiated.’
Launching a dramatic bid to carry down the PM and the Well being Secretary final month, Mr Cummings blamed a poisonous mixture of complacency and indecision for the pointless deaths.
He instructed MPs that senior ministers and advisers, together with himself, had fallen ‘disastrously quick’, including: ‘When the general public wanted us most, the Authorities failed. Tens of hundreds of individuals died, who did not must die.’
Mr Cummings claimed the Prime Minister was ‘unfit for the job’ and couldn’t lead Britain out of the pandemic.
He mentioned the Well being Secretary ‘ought to have been fired for no less than 15 to twenty issues, together with mendacity’.
He alleged Mr Hancock had lied to the PM over the disastrous coverage of not testing older folks for Covid earlier than they have been discharged from hospital into care properties.
The previous No10 aide outlined a collection of failings by him and the ‘smoking destroy’ Division for Well being, together with mendacity in January final 12 months that pandemic preparations have been good after they have been ‘utterly hole’.
Mr Cummings alleged Mr Hancock lied about testing hospital sufferers for coronavirus earlier than they have been despatched again into care properties, in a suggestion that hundreds died due to his dishonesty.
He additionally claimed that the Well being Secretary lied about folks getting the therapy they wanted throughout the first peak final March and April – including that ‘many individuals have been left to die in horrific circumstances’.
Mr Cummings then accused Mr Hancock of ‘appalling’ behaviour in direction of chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, saying: ‘He used the entire ‘we’re following the science’ as a approach in order that he might all the time say, ‘properly if issues go flawed, we’ll blame the scientists and it is not my fault’.’
Downing Avenue didn’t deny that Mr Johnson thought-about sacking the Well being Secretary in April final 12 months however insisted the Prime Minister has confidence in him now, as Mr Hancock disputed the allegations.
He prompt that Mr Johnson selected to not hearth the Well being Secretary at that time as a result of he was allegedly instructed ‘you need to maintain him there as a result of he is the individual you hearth when the inquiry comes alongside’.
Mr Cummings instructed a joint committee: ‘One factor I can say utterly truthfully is that I mentioned repeatedly from February/March that if we do not hearth the Secretary of State and get testing into any person else’s palms, we’ll kill folks and it will be a disaster.’
On the declare that Mr Hancock lied, Mr Cummings mentioned: ‘There are quite a few examples. In the summertime he mentioned that everyone who wanted therapy acquired the therapy they required.
‘He knew that that was a lie as a result of he had been briefed by the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical officer himself in regards to the first peak. We have been instructed explicitly folks didn’t get the therapy they deserved, many individuals have been left to die in horrific circumstances.’
Mr Hancock had additionally blamed NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for PPE issues.
Mr Cummings mentioned he requested the cupboard secretary to research, who got here again and mentioned ‘it’s utterly unfaithful, I’ve misplaced confidence within the Secretary of State’s honesty in these conferences’.
The previous aide mentioned Mr Hancock’s public promise to ship 100,000 exams a day by the tip of April was ‘extremely silly’ as a result of it was already an inner purpose.
‘In my view he ought to’ve been fired for that factor alone, and that itself meant the entire of April was vastly disrupted by completely different components of Whitehall essentially making an attempt to function in numerous methods utterly as a result of Hancock needed to have the ability to go on TV and say ‘have a look at me and my 100k goal’.
‘It was legal, disgraceful behaviour that prompted severe hurt.’
There have been experiences that Mr Cummings has paperwork exhibiting the PM’s workplace summoned Mr Hancock to No10 on Could 3 final 12 months, for a gathering the next day, to clarify deceptive him, the PM after which Cupboard Secretary Mark Sedwill on the testing of sufferers earlier than discharge into care properties, in addition to about additional testing of residents and workers.
The DoH mentioned it ‘didn’t recognise’ the declare and Mr Hancock ‘had many conferences with the PM throughout a spread of points’.
Mr Hancock has beforehand mentioned on care house testing: ‘We labored as laborious as we might to guard individuals who stay in care properties, and naturally those that stay in care properties are a number of the most susceptible to this illness as a result of by its nature it assaults and has extra of an affect on older folks.
‘Now in relation to the testing of individuals as they left hospital and went into care properties, we dedicated to constructing the testing capability to permit that to occur.
‘In fact it then takes time to construct testing capability.
‘Actually, one of many vital issues we did was set the 100,000 goal again then to verify we constructed that testing capability and it was very efficient in doing so.
‘After which we have been in a position to introduce the coverage of testing everyone earlier than going into care properties, however we might solely do that after we had the testing capability which I needed to construct, as a result of we did not have it on this nation from the beginning.
‘We began with a capability of lower than 2,000 in March final 12 months and acquired to 100,000 exams a day.
‘And we set all of this out on the time in public paperwork. It is all a matter of public file.’
Mr Johnson has mentioned the federal government confronted an ‘extremely troublesome collection of selections, none of which now we have taken flippantly’ and ‘at each stage now we have been ruled by a dedication to guard life’.
Mr Cummings has been posting his information from the early phases of the coronavirus disaster on his Twitter feed