Dominic Cummings Committee: Matt Hancock hits back
Matt Hancock has denied claims he lied about the coronavirus pandemic after a blistering attack from former prime minister adviser Dominic Cummings.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We have been straight with people.”
Hancock said: “These allegations that were put yesterday… are serious allegations and I welcome the opportunity to come to the house to put formally on the record that these unsubstantiated allegations around honesty are not true.
“I’ve been straight with people in public and in private throughout.”
- Matt Hancock denies he lied to the public and colleague.
- Hancock: ‘many of the allegations were unsubstantiated’
- Boris Johnson avoided questions on whether he had confidence in Hancock
- PM denies thousands died needlessly
One of the biggest claims made over the 7-hour meeting, was Cummings claims that Matt Hancock lied about Covid-testing people before they returned to care homes.
Addressing the allegation, Matt Hancock said: “We followed the clinical advice on the appropriate way forward.”
He added that “so many of the allegations were unsubstantiated”.
Boris Johnson denies ‘thousands died needlessly’
Boris Johnson avoided questions about whether he had confidence in the Health Secretary on Thursday.
But he did deny the claim that Cummings made about thousands of people needlessly died because of the PM.
Answering whether that was the case, he said: “No, I don’t think so. But of course, this has been an incredibly difficult series of decisions, none of which we’ve taken lightly, and you’ve got to recognise, and I hope people do understand this, that when you go into a lockdown it’s a very very painful, traumatic thing for people, for people’s mental health, for their lives, their livelihoods, and of course you’ve got to set that against the horrors of the pandemic and of COVID.”
Questions from the Commons
Matt Hancock told the Commons: “We’ve taken an approach of openness and transparency and spoke of what we do and don’t know.
“Since last January I’ve attended this House over 60 times. With the prime minister we have together hosted 84 press conferences, I’ve answered 2,667 contributions to this House and answered questions from colleagues, the media and the public – and we’ll keep on with this spirit of openness and transparency throughout.
“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.”
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