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27th May 2021

Hancock responds to Dominic Cummings’ claims he is a liar

Charlie Herbert

“I have been straight with people in public and in private throughout.”

Matt Hancock has hit back at Dominic Cummings’ allegations on Wednesday that the Health Secretary repeatedly lied during meetings and conversations surrounding how the government was dealing with the pandemic last year.

On Wednesday Prime Minister’s former aide claimed that Hancock should have been fired for “at least 15 to 20 things” during the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, as he appeared before a committee of MP’s to answer questions surrounding the government’s handling of the pandemic and his role in decision-making at Number 10.

Cummings said that the Health Secretary lied about hospital patients being tested for Covid before they went back to care homes, claims that patients were getting the treatment they needed during the first wave, and suggestions that the pandemic plans were up to scratch.

However, Hancock defended himself on Thursday as he answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons.

He told the Commons that the government had been “straight with people” about the challenges the virus posed and the difficult decisions that had to be made by government.

He told the house: “These unsubstantiated allegations around honesty are not true.

“I have been straight with people in public and in private throughout.

“I am proud of everyone in my department.”

The Health Secretary continued: “Every day since I began working on the response to this pandemic last January, I’ve got up each morning and asked: ‘What must I do to protect life?’

“That is the job of the Health Secretary in a pandemic.

“We’ve taken an approach of openness, transparency and explanation of both what we know and of what we don’t know.”

He said he had updated the House 60 times during pandemic, and “answered questions from colleagues, the media and the public.”

“We’ll keep on with this spirit of openness and transparency throughout,” he said.

“Sometimes what we’ve had to say hasn’t been easy. We’ve had to level with people when it’s been tough, when things have been going in the wrong direction.

“And also we’ve learned throughout. We’ve applied that learning both to tackling this pandemic and making sure that we’re as well-prepared in the future as possible.

“Beyond all this, what matters remains the same – getting vaccinated, getting tested, delivering for our country, overcoming this disease and saving lives, and that is what matters to the British people.”

Hancock went on to attack Cummings, suggesting that over the last six months since Cummings exit “governing has become a little easier and we have been able to deliver.”