Boris insists he has ‘complete confidence’ in Matt Hancock despite bombshell messages showing he branded the health secretary ‘f****** useless’ at height of the pandemic
- Boris Johnson voices ‘complete confidence’ in Matt Hancock after messages
- Dominic Cummings has revealed private WhatsApps from the Prime Minister
- Mr Hancock brushed off the criticism defended his handling of Covid response
Boris Johnson today insisted he has ‘completely confidence’ in Matt Hancock as he tried to gloss over explosive messages branding the health secretary ‘f****** useless’.
The PM played down the emergence of his private WhatsApps from the height of the pandemic in March and April last year.
Dominic Cummings released the messages yesterday as he continues to wage war on his former colleagues – with Mr Hancock squarely in his crosshairs.
The former No10 chief has said Mr Hancock should have been sacked multiple times for ‘lying’ to ministers and officials – something he flatly denies.
And he he issues the WhatsApps in an effort to show that the premier had shared his opinion on Mr Hancock’s abilities.
However, asked about the revelations on a visit to West Yorkshire this afternoon, Mr Johnson said: ‘I have complete confidence in Matt and indeed all of the Government who have been dealing with Covid-19 during the pandemic.’
Boris Johnson (right) today insisted he has ‘completely confidence’ in Matt Hancock (left) as he tried to gloss over explosive messages branding the health secretary ‘f****** useless’
In an exchange with Boris Johnson from March 27 last year Dominic Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing
On April 27, Mr Johnson apparently messaged Mr Cummings to say that PPE was a ‘disaster’
Mr Cummings gave a brutal assessment of the performance of the government during an exchange of messages in April 2020
In one exchange from March 27 last year, Mr Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing. Mr Johnson replied: ‘Totally f****** hopeless.’ He then tried to call his senior aide three times without managing to get through.
Another from the same day saw Mr Cummings complain that the Department of Health had been turning down ventilators because ‘the price has been marked up’. Mr Johnson said: ‘It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.’
On April 27, Mr Johnson apparently messaged Mr Cummings to say that PPE was a ‘disaster’, suggesting that Michael Gove should take charge instead.
‘I can’t think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting Gove on.’
Mr Cummings dropped the incendiary revelations in a lengthy post on the Substack blogging platform just minutes before PMQs.
It included vicious passages condemning Mr Johnson for ‘telling rambling stories and jokes’ instead of chairing crucial meetings properly, and a claim that the PM is intending to quit in order to ‘make money’ rather than serving a full term if he wins the next election.
Dominic Cummings (pictured) has branded Mr Johnson a ‘gaffe machine’ who is ‘clueless about policy and government’
The latest attack came during a long tirade against media pundits and their inability to analyse politics properly
The maverick former aide unleashed another salvo at the PM today he revealed that he prevented him doing intense interviews during the 2019 election campaign.
The latest attack came during a long tirade against media pundits and their inability to analyse politics properly.
Mr Cummings highlighted the refusal to put Mr Johnson up for an interview with Andrew Neil, then a feared BBC interrogator and now working for GB News.
The snub caused anger at the time with the premier accused of dodging scrutiny, while Jeremy Corbyn did agree to a grilling.
But Mr Cummings mocked the idea that it was a ‘huge campaign blunder’.
‘Why the f*** wd be put a gaffe machine clueless about policy & government up to be grilled for ages, upside=0 for what?!’ he wrote.
‘This is not a hard decision… Pundits don’t understand comms, power or management. Tune out!’
Asked if the PM was a ‘gaffe machine’, a Downing Street spokesman said: ‘This is not a characterisation that we would accept.’
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