Matt Hancock mentioned he has not seen Dominic Cummings’ “efficiency” in full, after the Prime Minister’s former aide instructed MPs he ought to have been sacked as Health Secretary.
Mr Cummings mentioned Mr Hancock ought to have been fired over coronavirus failings and “felony, disgraceful behaviour” on the testing goal.
Boris Johnson’s ex-adviser additionally mentioned Whitehall’s high official really useful to the Prime Minister that Mr Hancock ought to be sacked.
As he arrived at his north London residence on Wednesday night, Mr Hancock was requested for his response to Mr Cummings’ allegations to MPs, and he replied: “I haven’t seen this efficiency at present in full, and as an alternative I’ve been coping with getting the vaccination rollout going, particularly to over-30s, and saving lives.
“I’ll be giving an announcement to the House of Commons tomorrow and I’ll have extra to say then.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks to the media outdoors his residence in London (Aaron Chown/PA)
Downing Street did not deny that the Prime Minister thought of sacking the Health Secretary in April final 12 months however insisted Mr Johnson has confidence in him now, as Mr Hancock disputed the allegations.
Mr Cummings mentioned there have been round 20 the explanation why Mr Hancock ought to have been thrown out of the Cabinet – together with, he claimed, mendacity each in conferences and publicly.
Mr Hancock used chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance as “shields” in charge for his failures, Mr Cummings claimed.
He mentioned Mr Hancock carried out “disastrously” beneath the requirements anticipated and the cupboard secretary – the nation’s high civil servant – really useful the Health Secretary ought to be sacked.
Mr Cummings mentioned that whereas Donald Trump was ordering the CIA to “gazump” rival nations on orders for private protecting tools (PPE), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was nonetheless attempting to get orders from China by ship.
“I feel the Secretary of State for Health ought to’ve been fired for no less than 15, 20 issues, together with mendacity to everyone on a number of events in assembly after assembly in the Cabinet room and publicly,” Mr Cummings mentioned.
“There’s little question in any respect that many senior individuals carried out far, far disastrously beneath the requirements which the nation has a proper to count on. I feel the Secretary of State for Health is definitely a type of individuals.
“I mentioned repeatedly to the Prime Minister that he ought to be fired, so did the cupboard secretary, so did many different senior individuals.”
Sir Mark Sedwill was the cupboard secretary till September 2020, a interval which lined the primary part of the pandemic.
Mr Hancock was lined as much as lead a coronavirus press convention from Downing Street on Thursday as he rejected Mr Cummings’ allegations.
“We completely reject Mr Cummings’ claims in regards to the Health Secretary,” a spokesman for Mr Hancock mentioned.
“The Health Secretary will proceed to work carefully with the Prime Minister to ship the vaccine rollout, deal with the dangers posed by variants and assist the NHS and social care sector to recuperate from this pandemic.”
He insisted the Health Secretary had “labored extremely arduous in unprecedented circumstances to guard the NHS and save lives”.
Mr Hancock will seem earlier than the identical committee the place the sequence of hard-hitting allegations had been levelled on June 10.
Mr Cummings has beforehand described Mr Hancock’s division as a “smoking spoil” which might not address the calls for of the pandemic.
On the declare that Mr Hancock lied, Mr Cummings mentioned: “There are quite a few examples.
“In the summer time he mentioned that everyone who wanted remedy bought the remedy 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 had been instructed explicitly individuals did not get the remedy they deserved, many individuals had 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 in the Secretary of State’s honesty in these conferences”.
The former aide mentioned Mr Hancock’s public promise to ship 100,000 exams a day by the top of April was “extremely silly” as a result of it was already an inside purpose.
“In my opinion he ought to’ve been fired for that factor alone, and that itself meant the entire of April was massively disrupted by totally different components of Whitehall basically attempting to function in other ways utterly as a result of Hancock wished to have the ability to go on TV and say ‘have a look at me and my 100k goal’.
“It was felony, disgraceful behaviour that triggered severe hurt.”
Accusing Mr Hancock of “appalling” behaviour in the direction of Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick, Mr Cummings mentioned: “He used the entire ‘we’re following the science’ as a means in order that he might at all times say, ‘nicely if issues go improper, we’ll blame the scientists and it’s not my fault’.”
He steered Mr Johnson saved Mr Hancock in place as a result of he was instructed “you must preserve him there as a result of he’s the individual you fireplace when the inquiry comes alongside”.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson was requested whether or not the cupboard secretary had “misplaced religion in the Health Secretary’s honesty”.
Mr Johnson mentioned: “The reply to that’s ‘no’ and I’m afraid I haven’t had the advantage of seeing the proof that he’s bringing to the House, however I have to say that I feel what the individuals of this nation need us all to do is to get on with the fragile enterprise now of attempting to reopen our financial system and restore individuals’s freedoms, get again to our lifestyle by rolling out the vaccine.”
Pressed if Mr Johnson nonetheless has confidence in the Health Secretary, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman mentioned: “Yes, the Health Secretary has been working carefully with the Prime Minister all through and has been absolutely targeted on defending the well being and care system and saving lives.”