Cummings has released a series of potentially damaging claims about his former boss in recent weeks, including suggestions that the prime minister said that he would rather have bodies “pile up” than allow a further coronavirus lockdown.
Downing Street has largely refused to either confirm or deny the most damaging specific claims made by Cummings.
Boris Johnson called his Health Secretary Matt Hancock “totally f*****g useless,” according to bombshell messages published by the prime minister’s estranged former chief adviser Dominic Cummings.
Hancock last week accused Cummings, who left Downing Street acrimoniously last year, of failing to produce evidence to support his claims that Hancock had lied frequently to the prime minister throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Cummings told MPs that Hancock should have been sacked for dishonesty on multiple occasions, and said the former secretary Mark Sedwill had told the prime minister in mid-April that he had “lost confidence” in the health secretary.
Cummings on Wednesday said he had felt compelled to publish official documents and screenshots of WhatsApp messages between himself and the prime minister to verify those claims, saying that Downing Street and Hancock himself had “openly” lied last week to protect Hancock’s reputation.
In a blog post, Cummings alleged that Johnson had frequently been frustrated with Hancock’s performance throughout the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“Hancock gave a fictitious account to MPs last week and portrayed himself as a heroic figure who had been in agreement with the PM throughout the crisis,” Cummings said in the blog post, which was published on Substack.
In one screenshotted exchange apparently between himself and the prime minister, Cummings appeared to highlight the urgent need for the government to ramp up COVID-19 testing across the country, and criticising Hancock for missing targets he had previously set.
Johnson replied: “Totally f*****g hopeless.”
In another, later the same day, Cummings said that officials had “totally f****d up” procurement of medical ventilators – which were needed to treat COVID-19 patients in intensive care.
Johnson replied: “It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.”
“The PM has supported this fiction and ordered the No 10 press office to support many arguments he knows are lies,” Cummings said in the blogpost.
“If No 10 is prepared to lie so deeply and widely about such vital issues of life and death last year, it cannot be trusted now either on covid or any other crucial issue of war and peace.”
Trump derailed the UK government’s coronavirus planning at a crucial moment in March last year after former he asked the UK to “join a bombing campaign in the Middle East,” members of the UK parliament have been told.
Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said that ministers and key aides had been forced to delay COVID-19 meetings on a key day in March after “national security people ” arrived in Downing Street and announced that “Trump wants us to join a bombing campaign in the Middle East tonight.”
The prime minister had been scheduled on March 12 to convene COBRA, the government’s emergency response committee, to discuss potential measures to try and contain coronavirus, which was in the early stages of spreading across the country, he said.
Cummings added: “So everything to do with COBRA that day [on March 12] on COVID was completely disrupted because you had these two parallel sets of meetings. You had the national security people running in and out, talking about, are we going to bomb the Middle East? And we had the COVID meeting being delayed, trying to figure out, are we going to do household quarantine?”
Cummings said Trump on March 12 wanted the UK to join a bombing campaign in Iraq, but the UK government declined to participate. The Pentagon on March 12 confirmed that the US carried out airstrikes on weapons facilities run by an Iranian-backed militia after a rocket attack killed two US soldiers and one British soldier near Baghdad.
Eventually, Johnson would announce on March 15 that people should practice social distancing, but he would later be criticized for failing to introduce stricter measures, including the cancellation of mass sports events and the closure of pubs and restaurants.
Cummings said that key aides and scientific advisers gradually realized that the government’s “plan A” would result in up to 500,000 deaths, forcing them to change approach later in March and introduce a national lockdown.
The UK has one of the highest coronavirus death tolls per capita in the world, with more than 125,000 have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, according to government figures.
Boris Johnson wanted to be infected with the coronavirus on live television to show it’s nothing to be scared of, the UK Prime Minister’s former aide Dominic Cummings told members of parliament on Wednesday.
Cummings appeared before a House of Commons committee to set out a series of potentially damaging claims about his former boss.
These included claims that Johnson wanted to be injected with the virus on live television by one of his senior advisors.
“In February the PM regarded this as just a scare story,” Cummings told MPs.
“The view of lots of people was if the PM said it’s just like swine flu, don’t worry about it, I will get [chief medical officer] Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with it, that would not help.”
Labeled the coronavirus “Kung Flu” in imitation of Donald Trump.
That he was reluctant to lock down because “it is only killing 80-year-olds.”
Said he would rather have “bodies pile up” than lockdown a second time.
Failed to act in the first wave because he was on a long holiday with his fiancee.
Initially refused a second lockdown because “‘I’m going to be the mayor of Jaws.”
Cummings is reportedly due to claim that Johnson suggested that “the big danger is not Kung-Flu but the harm caused in trying to stop it.”
“I was right all along and should not have been pushed into the first lockdown. The economic damage caused by lockdowns is more damaging than the loss of life caused by Covid.”
Downing Street believe that Cummings, who was ejected from office last year following an internal row over the influence of Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds, is determined to seek revenge on Johnson.
He will appear before a joint committee of the House of Commons for almost four hours and is reportedly prepared with private internal messages setting out what he believes were the failures of Johnson’s administration to tackle the pandemic.
Aides to Boris Johnson fear that former advisor Dominic Cummings could claim that the UK prime minister skipped crucial coronavirus meetings to write a book on Shakespeare to fund his divorce, The Sunday Times reported.
Cabinet Office officials reportedly fear that Cummings will use his appearance before a committee of MPs investigating the government’s early response to the pandemic to make damaging revelations about his former boss.
Johnson skipped five meetings of the COBRA emergency committee in the initial weeks of the pandemic in 2020.
The officials reportedly believe that Cummings will claim that Johnson needed the money from the book to fund his divorce from his second wife, Maria Wheeler.
The five meetings Johnson skipped were in late January and early February 2020, as the virus began to spread in the UK. It is customary for the prime minister to chair COBRA meetings during national crises.
At a campaign event in July 2019, Johnson had expressed regret that being a politician meant he didn’t have the time to complete a book on Shakespeare he’d planned to write.
“Being a full-time politician means that I won’t be able to rapidly complete a book on Shakespeare that I have in preparation. I honestly say that will grieve me,” he remarked, reported PoliticsHome.
Cummings left Downing Street last year after an internal power struggle and has since become a feared government critic, making damaging claims about its response to the coronavirus.
In a series of tweets Saturday, Cummings said that, contrary to the denials of several government ministers, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the government had been pursuing a “herd immunity” strategy until about a week before the first national lockdown in the UK.
“In the week of March 9, No10 was made aware by various people that the official plan would lead to catastrophe. It was then replaced by Plan B. But how ‘herd immunity by September’ could have been the plan until that week is a fundamental issue in the whole disaster,” he tweeted.
It was abandoned only when ministers were warned that it’d lead to “hundreds of thousands choking to death” on hospital wards,” he wrote.
Under the controversial strategy, the disease would have been allowed to spread freely among parts of the population, with the most vulnerable shielded, hoping that most of the population would develop some immunity to it.
Multiple sources who heard Boris Johnson saying he would rather “let the bodies pile high” than allow a third coronavirus lockdown say they are willing to testify under oath that he made the comments, ITV News reported.
The Daily Mail on Monday reported that Johnson shouted that he would “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” than permit a third lockdown, at a meeting last October.
Johnson has denied making the comments but ITV News, BBC News, The Guardian and Politico have all spoken to multiple sources who say they heard Johnson making the comments in his office.
Robert Peston, ITV’s political editor, on Tuesday said: “I was told by two sources is that the prime minister said this at the end of October in his study.
“He was furious because he felt he’d been railroaded into this second lockdown that happened in November. The Daily Mail initially reported he was so furious he’d rather see bodies piling up than a third lockdown.
“He was in his study and was shouting. I’ve got two ear-witnesses to all this and there’s a third … Both of my witnesses say that if asked under oath they would confirm the reports that ITV has put out and indeed the Mail have put out.”
The news raises the prospects of senior current and former aides potentially testifying against the prime minister in the forthcoming inquiry into the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
It comes as Boris Johnson comes under growing pressure on multiple fronts as he attempts to deflect several political scandals which threaten to engulf his premiership.
Those include questions about whether Johnson improperly sought political donations to pay for a refurbishment of his flat and whether he sought to delay a leak inquiry that implicated a close friend of his fiancee.
Sources told the Guardian that Johnson was increasingly “isolated” and “uncontrollable” in Downing Street as the allegations continue to swirl around him.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson allegedly said he would rather “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” rather than impose a fresh lockdown last year, as the coronavirus pandemic raged across Britain.
However, his frustration at having to impose new measures reportedly led to him saying during the meeting at 10 Downing Street: “No more f*****g lockdowns – let the bodies pile high in their thousands!”
A spokesperson for the opposition Labour party described the reported comments as “truly shocking.”
“If this report is true, then these are truly shocking and sickening comments from Boris Johnson,” the spokesperson said.
“It is hard to imagine how families who have lost loved ones to COVID will feel reading them. Boris Johnson must make a public statement as soon as possible in his response to this report.”
A senior minister on Monday said the report was not true. “It’s not true – it’s been categorically denied by practically everyone,” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News, per Reuters.
“We’re getting into the sort of comedy chapter now of these gossip stories – you know unnamed sources by unnamed advisers talking about unnamed events. You know – look – none of this is serious.”
The briefing follows an extraordinary row between Boris Johnson and his former chief adviser Dominic Cummings.
Cummings, who left Downing Street acrimoniously in December, published a blog post on Friday denying accusations from Downing Street that he was behind a recent leak of text messages shared between Johnson and billionaire James Dyson.
Cummings also denied being the so-called “chatty rat” who briefed journalists about the lockdown in October.
He said that a different adviser, Henry Newman was the main suspect of the leak, but Johnson had wanted to delay the inquiry because that adviser was a close friend of his fiancée, Carrie Symonds.
Newman has denied this.
Cummings also said that he had warned Johnson that his alleged plan to renovate his Downing Street flat using money from Conservative donors was “unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations.”
Dominic Cummings, the former chief advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is reportedly preparing a dossier of evidence that will attempt to directly blame Johnson for thousands of deaths during the UK’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cummings, a key force behind the successful Brexit campaign, led by Johnson, was a close and powerful advisor to the Prime Minister until he was unceremoniously ousted last November. A report in the Sunday Times says that Cummings will use an upcoming appearance in front of a parliamentary committee to implicate Johnson in the UK’s death toll.
“Dominic has copies of everything and knows where all the bodies are buried,” an unnamed source told the Sunday Times.
The source continued: “He [Cummings] was pushing the prime minister hard to lock down sooner in the autumn and he has lots of evidence that shows that his decision to delay led to devastating consequences.”
Despite high levels of infections at the start of the pandemic, the UK did not implement travel restrictions until January 2021, over nine months after the virus was first discovered in the UK.
Government figures released earlier this year revealed that the number of deaths during the UK’s second wave of COVID-19 had surpassed the first. The combined death toll is now more than 127,000, one of the highest in Europe.
Last night in a tweet, Cummings appeared to criticize the government’s failure to introduce travel bans earlier in the pandemic. In response to a tweet thread on how Vietnam limited its death toll to just 35 by closing its borders, Cummings tweeted: “very important issue re learning from the disaster.”
Earlier this week, in a blog post, Cummings launched an unprecedented attack on Boris Johnson alleging that the Prime Minister and his team behaved in a way that he described as “mad and totally unethical” and tried to hatch a “possibly illegal” plan for private donors to fund renovations to Johnson’s Downing Street flat.
In the blog post, Cummings said: “It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.”
Cummings also alleged that Johnson attempted to quash an internal inquiry about the origins of a series of confidential leaks about the government’s COVID-19 strategy at the start of the pandemic when he learned that the investigation could implicate senior government aid Henry Newman, a close friend of Johnson’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds.