British PM called health secretary totally 'hopeless', says former aide

17 Juin, 2021, 05:19 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Boris Johnson called his Health Secretary Matt Hancock 'f*****g hopeless' leaked WhatsApp messages show

Cummings, who had a front-row seat for much of the pandemic decision-making before leaving government late past year, told a parliamentary committee last month that Hancock was "disastrously incompetent" and should have been fired for "15 to 20 things".

No 10 insisted Mr Johnson still has full confidence in the Health Secretary, with the Prime Minister's official spokesman simply replying "yes" when asked during a Westminster briefing.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has full confidence in his under-fire health secretary, his spokesman said Wednesday, despite private WhatsApp exchanges emerging in which he appears to slam the minister's "hopeless" handling of the pandemic.

As well as describing the availability of PPE equipment was "a disaster", and contemplating putting Michael Gove in charge, Mr Johnson appears to use a profanity at one point in describing his Health Secretary as "hopeless" over testing policy.

In one exchange on March 3rd past 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 message from March 27 2020, the contact appearing to be Mr Johnson says the handling of testing was "totally f*****g hopeless", in another he says "it's Hancock". During his appearance, he labelled Hancock "a liar".

Cummings said: "The Secretary of State for Health [Matt Hancock] should have been fired for at least 15 or 20 things, including lying to everybody in multiple occasions in meeting after meeting in the cabinet room and publicly".

And now, in what he said was his response to Mr Hancock's testimony, Mr Cummings has described his latest blogpost as being created to include "just a few things to support what I told MPs and show that No10/Hancock have repeatedly lied about the failures last year".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock watches Prime Minister Boris Johnson speak during PMQs.

The Prime Minister did not answer the question.

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"Raab can chair meetings properly instead of telling rambling stories and jokes", Mr Cummings added.

Boris Johnson's former adviser has been a political headache for the Prime Minister since No 10 tried to blame Cummings for releasing texts between Johnson and businessman James Dyson in April.

Mr Cummmings also claimed Mr Johnson has a "clear plan" to leave Downing Street "at the latest a couple of years after the next election", which is scheduled for 2024.

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

Downing Street and the health secretary have yet to respond to the latest revelations. The Prime Minister confirms a four-week delay to the lifting of all restrictions in England beyond 21 June.

Hancock told members of Parliament this month he acted with "honesty and integrity" throughout the crisis, and denied Cummings' claims that he lied to Johnson about testing patients who were being moved into care homes.

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner branded the accusations from Mr Cummings as "absolutely damning".

"Any minister who has been found to have broken the ministerial code and lied should and must resign".

Asked if the Prime Minister called Mr 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".

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