In an explosive hearing, Cummings made several shocking claims about the prime minister and the cabinet’s approach to the pandemic and many of the failings that led to the rapid spread of Covid-19 throughout the UK.
Before all that, reporters doorstepped health secretary Matt Hancock outside of his house in London to ask about his feelings ahead of the hearing. Rather than give a straight answer, Hancock instead told everyone over 30 to go and get their vaccine, before going on a jog.
As he ran off down the street Hancock was again asked what he thought about Cummings but again didn’t reply and simply waved with his back to the cameras in a quite frankly odd moment.
This bizarre scene looks like it couldn’t have been taken straight out of the latest Alan Partridge comedy and the comparisons to the hapless fictional TV presenter and other jokes soon started to arrive.
Somewhere in Twitter heaven, @AccidentalP is smiling down on us. https://t.co/Idoh3rCiov
On a more serious note, Cummings made several serious accusations against Hancock during the first session of his testimony.
Cummings claimed that Hancock should have been fired for numerous offences. Talking to the committee he said: “I think the Secretary of State for Health should’ve been fired for at least 15, 20 things, including lying to everybody on multiple occasions in meeting after meeting in the Cabinet room and publicly.
“There’s no doubt at all that many senior people performed far, far disastrously below the standards which the country has a right to expect. I think the secretary of state for health is certainly one of those people. I said repeatedly to the prime minister that he should be fired, so did the cabinet secretary, so did many other senior people.”
Cummings also called Hancock’s pledge to carry out 100,000 tests a day “disgraceful behaviour that caused serious harm.”
Hancock has not responded to the claims, but Johnson later backed his health secretary during PMQs.