Dominic Cummings has published a series of WhatsApp conversations he had with Boris Johnson ahead of today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
The conversations have been revealed on his Substack blog and show the PM called PPE a “disaster” and considered replacing Matt Hancock with Michael Gove.
Cummings said moving Gove would do more harm than good as the Cabinet Office was a “shitshow”.
The texts also show Johnson asking ‘what the f*ck do we do’ to his advisor, who recently gave evidence to a parliamentary committee on the government’s response to the pandemic.
“He wants to make money and have fun”
In the blog, Mr Cummings accused the PM of trying to “rewrite history” to defend Hancock and said Mr Johnson “cannot be trusted now either on Covid or any other crucial issue of war and peace”.
He also said a Covid-19 public inquiry will not fix Downing Street’s approach and it has been designed to “punt the tricky parts until after this PM has gone”, adding Johnson will leave two years after the next election.
“He wants to make money and have fun, not go on and on”.
“Totally f*cking hopeless”
Cummings also published one message exchange in which he pointed out that the US had significantly ramped up its level of testing.
He bemoaned Hancock (MH in the texts) for casting doubt about UK capacity.
“Totally f*cking hopeless,” the PM responded.
He then called him on numerous occasions to tell his aide he had tested positive for Covid on 27th March.
He was admitted to hospital on 6th April.
Reaction to the texts has been fierce, with Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner calling for a public inquiry “now”.
She re-tweeted Cummings saying the prime minister “said himself Hancock’s performance on testing, procurement, PPE, care homes was ‘totally f*cking hopeless’ and his account to MPs was fiction”.
Public inquiry now. Not next year. Now. https://t.co/pSNk1BOWKQ— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) June 16, 2021
David Lammy said “hands up if you agree with Boris Johnson that Matt Hancock is useless” while LBC presenter James O’Brien pointed out that “Dominic Cummings did more than anyone else to create a political environment in which facts don’t matter liars in government are unsackable.
“It is, to say the least, ambitious of him to think he can turn the tanker around.”
Dominic Cummings did more than anyone else to create a political environment in which facts don’t matter liars in government are unsackable. It is, to say the least, ambitious of him to think he can turn the tanker around.— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob) June 16, 2021
Cummings revealed the texts shortly before PMQs, meaning Johnson will be occupied for at least an hour.
Indications are that Sir Keir Starmer has not seen the WhatsApps either, but he might want to pay attention to the concluding remarks in the blog.
Has Keir not seen the Whatsapps? #PMQs— Ava-Santina (@AvaSantina) June 16, 2021
Entitled ‘A few simple questions to ask the PM’, Cummings says the following five questions should spark some lively debate:
1- Given his failures on testing, care homes and PPE why did you keep in post a Secretary of State you described yourself as ‘fucking hopeless’ and how many more people died as a result of your failure to remove him?
2- Why is No10 lying, including to Parliament, about the fact that the original plan was ‘herd immunity by September’ and had to be abandoned?
3 – When did Patrick Vallance brief you on NHS data showing that the death rate at the first April peak was much higher than before/after the peak and do you now agree with Hancock that every patient got the treatment they needed?
4- Do you now agree with Hancock that there was no shortage of PPE or do you agree with yourself in April 2020 that PPE supply was ‘a disaster’ that required moving Hancock?
5 – When will the SoS come to the House and correct his many false statements to MPs?