Dominic Cummings posts bombshell WhatsApp message from Boris Johnson

Dominic Cummings today posted bombshell private messages from Boris Johnson attacking ‘hopeless’ Matt Hancock.

The maverick former No10 chief revealed the extraordinary WhatsApp message on social media as he stepped up his attack on the government.

In an exchange from March 27 last year Mr Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing.

Mr Johnson replied: ‘Totally f****** hopeless.’ He then tried to call his senior aide three times without managing to get through.

Another from the same day saw Mr Cummings complain that the Department of Health had been turning down ventilators because ‘the price has been marked up’.

Mr Johnson said: ‘It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.’  

On April 27, Mr Johnson apparently messaged Mr Cummings to say that PPE was a ‘disaster’.

‘I can’t think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting Gove on.’ 

Mr Cummings dropped the incendiary revelations in a lengthy post on the Substack blogging platform just minutes before PMQs.

Sir Keir Starmer did not pick up on the allegations in his grilling – and although SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford did mention the news Mr Johnson ignored that and answered a different part of the question. 

In an exchange with Boris Johnson from March 27 last year Dominic Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing

In an exchange with Boris Johnson from March 27 last year Dominic Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing

In an exchange with Boris Johnson from March 27 last year Dominic Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing

On April 27, Mr Johnson apparently messaged Mr Cummings to say that PPE was a 'disaster'

On April 27, Mr Johnson apparently messaged Mr Cummings to say that PPE was a 'disaster'

On April 27, Mr Johnson apparently messaged Mr Cummings to say that PPE was a ‘disaster’

Mr Cummings gave a brutal assessment of the performance of the government during an exchange of messages in April 2020

Mr Cummings gave a brutal assessment of the performance of the government during an exchange of messages in April 2020

Mr Cummings gave a brutal assessment of the performance of the government during an exchange of messages in April 2020

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock

Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings (right) today posted bombshell messages from Boris Johnson attacking Matt Hancock (left) 

Mr Johnson (pictured today) has insisted he has full confidence in Mr Hancock - but Downing Street refused to say whether he considered sacking him in the past

Mr Johnson (pictured today) has insisted he has full confidence in Mr Hancock - but Downing Street refused to say whether he considered sacking him in the past

Mr Johnson (pictured today) has insisted he has full confidence in Mr Hancock – but Downing Street refused to say whether he considered sacking him in the past

Mr Cummings levelled his latest allegations in a lengthy substack blog post today minutes before the weekly PMQs

Mr Cummings levelled his latest allegations in a lengthy substack blog post today minutes before the weekly PMQs

Mr Cummings levelled his latest allegations in a lengthy substack blog post today minutes before the weekly PMQs

The key claims made by Dominic Cummings about Matt Hancock and the Government’s Covid response in his latest salvo

Boris Johnson’s former top aide has made a series of fresh claims about Matt Hancock and the Government’s pandemic response in a lengthy blogpost published today. 

Below is a breakdown of his most incendiary accusations:  

PM labelled Hancock ‘totally f****** hopeless’ over testing

Mr Cummings said that in a morning meeting on March 24 last year he had quizzed Mr Hancock on the ramping up of testing capacity and was told by the Health Secretary that capacity would hit 10,000 a day by March 30.

Mr Cummings said he then texted Mr Johnson at 23.39 on March 26, minutes before the PM tested positive for coronavirus, after he was made aware of information showing the ‘testing plans were a shambles’ and ‘Hancock had misled us all again’.

Mr Cummings sent a WhatsApp message to the PM: ‘US has gone from 2200 tests a fortnight ago to 27,000 a week ago to 100k yesterday. This is what we said we shd do. Instead we are still stuck on about 5-7k and MH saying today he’s ‘sceptical’ about getting to 10k by Monday which he said wd ‘definitely’ happen on Tuesday. This means tens of 1000s of NHS staff aren’t at work over next critical 3 weeks – apart from my earlier point re resting being integral to escape plan…’

Mr Johnson apparently replied: ‘Totally f****** hopeless.’

Ministers ‘threatened to stop coming to meetings with Hancock’

Mr Cummings accused Mr Hancock of ‘misleading’ ministers and officials over efforts to ramp up testing capacity.

He said the Health Secretary had ‘wrongly sought to blame others for delays’.

Mr Cummings said this was a ‘recurrent pattern’ with Mr Hancock and in April it ‘got so bad some ministers threatened to stop attending meetings until Hancock was fired’.

PM said Hancock was ‘hopeless’ on ventilator procurement

The PM’s former aide said in today’s blogpost that ‘everything to do with Hancock and procurement was a disaster’.

He said there had been a ‘nightmare’ on ventilator procurement because of the Health Secretary.

He said that officials said at a meeting on March 27 that the Department of Health had turned down ventilator offers – despite the UK suffering a shortage – because the prices had gone up.

Mr Cummings messaged Mr Johnson: ‘They’ve totally f***** up ventilators. I just heard officials admit we have been turning down ventilator offers because “the price has been marked up”.’

Mr Johnson apparently replied: ‘It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.’

PPE was ‘being shipped in at the peak of crisis instead of flown due to cost concerns’

Mr Cummings said that in a meeting on March 26, Mr Hancock had told the PM not to worry about PPE supplies because it was ‘all sorted’ – but this ‘turned out to be a total fiction’.

The ex-aide said he had separate meetings with officials in which they said vital PPE deliveries would not arrive until after the April peak because they were being shipped rather than flown.

Mr Cummings was apparently told items were not being flown in because that would be ‘against the procurement rules’ because shipping was cheaper.

Mr Cummings then said he instructed officials to immediately ‘call the airlines’ and shift to emergency air deliveries.

PM ‘suggested stripping Hancock of responsibility for PPE’ 

Mr Johnson apparently floated taking responsibility for PPE away from Mr Hancock and giving it to Michael Gove

Mr Cummings today rejected Mr Hancock’s claim to MPs that there was never a shortage of PPE last year.

He said he had suggested ‘divvying up’ parts of the Health Secretary’s job – something Mr Johnson appeared to be in favour of.

Mr Cummings published a WhatsApp exchange with the PM apparently from April 27.

Mr Johnson: ‘Agree about Vallance and Whitty. On PPE it’s a disaster. I can’t think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting Gove on.’

Mr Cummings: ‘With the CABOFF such a total s***show im afraid this wd have a severe risk of making it worse not better.’

Mr Johnson: ‘OK. Wtf do we do? Another meeting w Matt and Stevens and Deighton and co?’

Mr Cummings: ‘You know my view and we must get to grips with this issue: without profound changes in CanOff these problems will not be solved. Not just PPE. Track and trace. Vaccines. Treatments. Testing.’ 

PM ‘has a clear plan to leave No10 a couple of years after next election’ 

Mr Cummings claimed that Mr Johnson does not intend to serve a full term in Downing Street if he wins the next general election. 

He said that ‘unlike other PMs, this one has a clear plan to leave at the latest a couple of years after the next election, he wants to make money and have fun not “go on and on”.’

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Alongside the image of the apparent WhatsApp exchange with Mr Johnson, Mr Cummings tweeted: ‘Evidence on the covid disaster: as the PM said himself, Hancock’s performance on testing, procurement, PPE, care homes etc was ‘totally f***ing hopeless’, & his account to MPs was fiction.’

His message, which was dated March 27 last year and contained several typos, read: ‘US has gone from 2200 tests a fortnight ago to 27,000 a week ago to 100k yesterday. This is what we said we shd do. Instead we are still stuck on about 5-7K and MH saying today he’s ‘sceptical’ about getting to 10k by Monday which he said wd ‘definitely’ happen on Tuesday. This means tens of 1000s of NHS staff arent at work over next critical 3 weeks — apart from my earlier point re testign being integral to escape plan…’

The PM, whose name appeared as Johnson Boris in the screenshot, appeared to reply ‘Totally f***ing hopeless’.

In his long blog post, Mr Cummings said that ‘although the PM whinged to me and others, he would say to him, despite dozens of requests from two Cabinet Secretaries, me and other ministers and officials: stop this routine or you’re fired, your behaviour is undermining the whole effort’.

Mr Cummings posted a WhatsApp from March 24 last year – the day after the first lockdown – showing he had questioned Mr Hancock over his claims that the Treasury was delaying progress setting up an antibody testing scheme. 

The former Vote Leave chief went on: ‘Under pressure at the morning meeting, Hancock had done what he did so often: blame others, often HMT. 

‘As usual, it turned out that the delay was not with HMT but Hancock had misled the morning meeting and wrongly sought to blame others for delays. 

‘This was a recurrent pattern and in April got so bad some ministers threatened to stop attending meetings until Hancock was fired (see below).’ 

In a brutal asssessment of the PM’s skills, Mr Cummings wrote: ‘On 20 April, Hancock faced intense pressure. Under Raab, the meetings were less pleasant for everybody but much more productive because unlike the PM a) Raab can chair meetings properly instead of telling rambling stories and jokes, b) he let good officials actually question people so we started to get to the truth, unlike the PM who as soon as things get ”a bit embarrassing” does the whole ”let’s take it offline’ shtick before shouting ‘forward to victory”, doing a thumbs-up and pegging it out of the room before anybody can disagree.’ 

Launching a dramatic bid to bring down the PM and the Health Secretary last month, Mr Cummings blamed a toxic mix of complacency and indecision for the needless deaths.

He told MPs that senior ministers and advisers, including himself, had fallen ‘disastrously short’, adding: ‘When the public needed us most, the Government failed. Tens of thousands of people died, who didn’t need to die.’

In an epic seven-hour performance, Mr Cummings launched attacks on Mr Johnson, his fiancée Carrie Symonds and Mr Hancock over their personal conduct during the crisis. 

Mr Cummings claimed the Prime Minister was ‘unfit for the job’ and could not lead Britain out of the pandemic.

He said the Health Secretary ‘should have been fired for at least 15 to 20 things, including lying’. 

He alleged Mr Hancock had lied to the PM over the disastrous policy of not testing older people for Covid before they were discharged from hospital into care homes. 

The former No10 aide outlined a series of failings by him and the ‘smoking ruin’ Department for Health, including lying in January last year that pandemic preparations were brilliant when they were ‘completely hollow’.

Mr Cummings alleged Mr Hancock lied about testing hospital patients for coronavirus before they were sent back into care homes, in a suggestion that thousands died because of his dishonesty. 

He also claimed that the Health Secretary lied about people getting the treatment they needed during the first peak last March and April – adding that ‘many people were left to die in horrific circumstances’.

Mr Cummings then accused Mr Hancock of ‘appalling’ behaviour towards chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, saying: ‘He used the whole ‘we’re following the science’ as a way so that he could always say, ‘well if things go wrong, we’ll blame the scientists and it’s not my fault’.’ 

 Downing Street has not denied that Mr Johnson considered sacking the Health Secretary in April last year but insisted the Prime Minister has confidence in him now.

Addressing the barrage of claims about his conduct from Mr Cummings at his own evidence session earlier this month, Mr Hancock denied claims that he ‘lied’ to fellow ministers and the public about the coronavirus response.

He replied bluntly ‘No’ when he was asked by science committee chair Greg Clark whether he had misled Boris Johnson about people being tested before returning from hospitals to care homes.

He said he had ‘no idea’ over why Mr Cummings was targeting him specifically over the problems. But he admitted that he knew the PM’s top aide had wanted him sacked because there was ‘briefing to the newspapers’.   

He also swiped that government has been functioning much better since Mr Cummings left. 

Mr Cummings told the joint committee last month: ‘One thing I can say completely honestly is that I said repeatedly from February/March that if we don’t fire the Secretary of State and get testing into somebody else’s hands, we’re going to kill people and it’s going to be a catastrophe.’ 

On the claim that Mr Hancock lied, Mr Cummings said: ‘There are numerous examples. In the summer he said that everybody who needed treatment got the treatment they required. 

‘He knew that that was a lie because he had been briefed by the chief scientific adviser and the chief medical officer himself about the first peak. We were told explicitly people did not get the treatment they deserved, many people were left to die in horrific circumstances.’ 

Mr Hancock had also blamed NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for PPE problems.

Mr Cummings said he asked the cabinet secretary to investigate, who came back and said ‘it is completely untrue, I have lost confidence in the Secretary of State’s honesty in these meetings’.

The former aide said Mr Hancock’s public promise to deliver 100,000 tests a day by the end of April was ‘incredibly stupid’ because it was already an internal goal.

‘In my opinion he should’ve been fired for that thing alone, and that itself meant the whole of April was hugely disrupted by different parts of Whitehall fundamentally trying to operate in different ways completely because Hancock wanted to be able to go on TV and say ‘look at me and my 100k target’.

‘It was criminal, disgraceful behaviour that caused serious harm.’ 

There have been reports that Mr Cummings has documents showing the PM’s office summoned Mr Hancock to No10 on May 3 last year, for a meeting the following day, to explain misleading him, the PM and then Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill on the testing of patients before discharge into care homes, as well as about further testing of residents and staff.

The DoH said it ‘did not recognise’ the claim and Mr Hancock ‘had many meetings with the PM across a range of issues’. 

 

Leaked document suggests curbs could stay after July 19 

A leaked document gave a glimpse of the UK’s potential ‘new normal’ today with facemasks, working from home and travel quarantine rules set to stay beyond July 19.

The Whitehall paper suggests that the government will stop short of urging workers to return to offices even after ‘Freedom Day’ finally arrives. 

There is also a suggestion that face masks will be needed in some settings long-term, as well as keeping post-travel isolation rules. 

Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms will still be expected to isolate, according to the draft proposals. And fears have been raised that more restrictions will be needed if the disease surges again in the winter. 

The document – seen by Politico – emerged as furious Tories predicted up to 70 MPs could inflict a bloody nose on Boris Johnson in a crunch lockdown vote tonight.

The PM is facing a bruising revolt from his own benches as the Commons is asked to approve the delay of ‘Freedom Day’ until July 19.

Victory is guaranteed for the government as Labour has thrown its backing behind the extension of the brutal restrictions.

The shift from Mr Johnson, amid warnings from scientists that the Indian variant will cause thousands more deaths, has incensed many Conservatives who argue that vaccines have protected the most vulnerable and the country must learn to live with the virus.

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Mr Hancock has previously said on care home testing: ‘We worked as hard as we could to protect people who live in care homes, and of course those who live in care homes are some of the most vulnerable to this disease because by its nature it attacks and has more of an impact on older people.

‘Now when it comes to the testing of people as they left hospital and went into care homes, we committed to building the testing capacity to allow that to happen.

‘Of course it then takes time to build testing capacity.

‘In fact, one of the critical things we did was set the 100,000 target back then to make sure we built that testing capacity and it was very effective in doing so.

‘And then we were able to introduce the policy of testing everybody before going into care homes, but we could only do that once we had the testing capacity which I had to build, because we didn’t have it in this country from the start.

‘We started with a capacity of less than 2,000 in March last year and got to 100,000 tests a day.

‘And we set all of this out at the time in public documents. It’s all a matter of public record.’

Mr Johnson has said the government faced an ‘incredibly difficult series of decisions, none of which we have taken lightly’ and ‘at every stage we have been governed by a determination to protect life’. 

Meanwhile, a leaked document gave a glimpse of the UK’s potential ‘new normal’ today with facemasks, working from home and travel quarantine rules set to stay beyond July 19.

The Whitehall paper suggests that the government will stop short of urging workers to return to offices even after ‘Freedom Day’ finally arrives. 

There is also a suggestion that face masks will be needed in some settings long-term, as well as keeping post-travel isolation rules. 

Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms will still be expected to isolate, according to the draft proposals. And fears have been raised that more restrictions will be needed if the disease surges again in the winter. 

The document – seen by Politico – emerged as furious Tories predicted up to 70 MPs could inflict a bloody nose on Boris Johnson in a crunch lockdown vote tonight.

The PM is facing a bruising revolt from his own benches as the Commons is asked to approve the delay of ‘Freedom Day’ until July 19.

Victory is guaranteed for the government as Labour has thrown its backing behind the extension of the brutal restrictions.

The shift from Mr Johnson, amid warnings from scientists that the Indian variant will cause thousands more deaths, has incensed many Conservatives who argue that vaccines have protected the most vulnerable and the country must learn to live with the virus.

Mr Johnson insisted to MPs at PMQs today that the Covid rules were temporary. Responding to Tory backbencher Philip Davies he said: ‘Nobody, least of all me, wants to see Covid restrictions last forever, nor do I think they are going to last forever.’

Mr Johnson also came under fire from Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions, with the Labour leader saying he had ‘blown it’ by failing to block flights from India soon enough. 

Link hienalouca.com

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