'I told PM to fire him 15 to 20 times': Hancock repeatedly lied about Covid, Cummings claims

Matt Hancock should have been sacked as Health Secretary during the coronavirus pandemic, Dominic Cummings has said.

The former adviser to the prime minister said Hancock should have been fired for "at least 15 to 20 things".

Cummings gave evidence to MPs on Wednesday about the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a blistering personal attack on the Health Secretary, Cummings accused Hancock of lying to his cabinet colleagues.

He said Hancock "should’ve been fired for at least 15 to 20 things, including lying to everybody on multiple occasions in meeting after meeting in the cabinet room and publicly".

Cummings also said Hancock was “completely wrong” when he said on 15 March, 2020, to say herd immunity was not part of the government’s Covid-19 plan.

“That was the plan. I’m completely baffled as to why Number 10 has tried to deny that because that was the official plan,” said Cummings.

On 15 March, 2020, Hancock wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “We have a plan, based on the expertise of world-leading scientists. 

“Herd immunity is not a part of it. That is a scientific concept, not a goal or a strategy.”

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Cummings is speaking on Wednesday before a joint meeting of the Commons health and social care and science and technology committees.

Cummings said herd immunity was “seen as an inevitability” across Whitehall early last year.

He said: “It’s not that people were thinking this is a good thing and we actively want it, it’s that it’s a complete inevitability and the only real question it’s one of timing.

“It’s either one of herd immunity by September or it’s herd immunity by January after a second peak. That was the assumption up until Friday, 13 March.”