Matt Hancock apologises for breaking coronavirus rules
The former No10 adviser has been a vocal critic of the West Suffolk MP’s conduct during the pandemic. This afternoon he heaped more pressure on Mr Hancock as he published a fresh tirade against him online, accusing him of having “failed terribly”.
He said the civil service: “Systematically promote Hancocks, and systematically block learning from high performance, which is seen as a dangerous menace by normal bureaucracies.
“Thus we get Hancocked.”
He added: “Hancock had failed terribly. The Cabinet Office did not have the people it needed to solve the problem.
“Many were screaming at me that Hancock was failing to act on care homes and spinning nonsense to the Cabinet table while thousands were dying in care homes.”
Dominic Cummings has this afternoon launched a fresh assault on Matt Hancock
Sharing a screenshot of a WhatsApps message he sent at the height of the crisis last spring, Mr Cummings attacked the Government’s failure on testing those in hospitals and in care homes.
The message said: “I think we are negligently killing the most vulnerable who we are supposed to be shielding and I am extremely worried about it.”
The new attack comes just hours after No10 said Prime Minister Boris Johnson still had “full confidence” in the Health Secretary.
Pressure was heaped on Mr Hancock’s position after pictures emerged in The Sun newspaper this morning showing his clinching his personal aide.
The West Suffolk MP passionately kissed Gina Coladangelo in a Department for Health corridor, two weeks before the guidelines on close personal contact were eased.
Mr Hancock said he was “very sorry” he had broken the rules but did not indicate he was planning to quit.
Matt Hancock was caught kissing his aide on CCTV
He has apologised for breaking social distancing rules
In a statement, he said: “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances, I have let people down and am very sorry,” he said.
“I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter.”
Labour and the Lib Dems have demanded his resignation after failing to follow his own rules.
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Similar demands were made for Mr Cummings to be ousted from his role in No10 last summer when he broke Covid rules by travelling to Barnard Castle during lockdown and while infected with coronavirus.
However, the Prime Minister stood by his aide at the time, with Mr Cummings not leaving Downing Street until a power struggle in No10 in November 2020.
Since being forced out of his job, the former chief adviser has launched a series of attacks against the Government’s handling of the pandemic, with Mr Hancock subjected to the most criticism.
Giving evidence to MPs on the science and health select committees last month, Mr Cummings said the Health Secretary “should have been fired for at least 15, 20, things”.
Dominic Cummings told MPs he had repeatedly called for Matt Hancock’s resignation
Renewing his push to force out Mr Hancock in his blog post on the website substack this afternoon, the ex-aide gave examples of when he had lost confidence in the MP’s ability.
He said: “On May 7 I told the PM that Hancock was ‘unfit for this job’ and him staying in place was ‘killing god knows how many’.
“The PM agreed that Hancock’s failures were a catastrophe but refused to fire him.”