DOMINIC CUMMINGS today unleashed a devastating takedown of the Government's Covid handling, dropping bombshell after bombshell.
The PM's ex-aide tore strips off ministers, officials – and even sensationally declared Boris Johnson "unfit" to lead the country through the crisis.
During a marathon seven-hour session before MPs in he gave his unvarnished verdict of Downing Street's response, painting a picture of utter chaos at the heart of government.
WE WERE ABSOLUTELY F***ED
Mr Cummings laid bare in stark terms how unprepared the UK was to fight a pandemic.
As the virus gathered pace in early March last year he recalled top Whitehall mandarin Helen McNamara sounding the alarm bell in the PM’s study.
She reportedly told him: “I’ve been told for years there is a plan; there is no plan; we are in huge trouble.
"I think we are absolutely f**ked. I think this country is heading for a disaster, we are going to kill thousands of people."
‘CRACKERS’ BORIS IS PM
Boris Johnson’s ex-aide delivered a devastating takedown of his old boss, declaring him “unfit” to be prime minister.
He said it was “crackers” that Mr Johnson occupied the most powerful position in the land – and lamented a political system that churned out Jeremy Corbyn as the only other candidate.
Asked if Mr Johnson was “a fit and proper person to get us through this pandemic”, Mr Cummings bluntly replied: “No.”
CARE HOMES HAD NO PROTECTIVE SHIELD
Matt Hancock bore the brunt of Mr Cummings’ stinging attacks and was personally charged with sending infected Covid patients into care homes.
The former No10 Svengali said the Health Secretary should have been fired for “at least 15-20 things” during the crisis, and said he urged the PM to sack him on a daily basis.
He branded Mr Hancock’s claim to have thrown a protective shield around care homes as “complete nonsense”.
NO10 WAS DISTRACTED FROM COVID
As Covid spread across the world and the UK braced for an onslaught, Mr Cummings complained that No10 was not laser-focused on battening down the hatches.
Far from being on a “war footing”, he railed against senior figures taking holidays, saying: “Lots of key people were literally skiing".
He also recalled an “insane situation” when a crucial Covid meeting was disrupted because Carrie Symonds was “going crackers” over press reports about her dog.
BARNARD CASTLE TRUTH
Almost a year to the day, Mr Cummings finally apologised for his infamous trip to County Durham.
He said: “That whole episode was a major disaster for the government and Covid policy.”
Mr Cummings stuck by his story that he drove to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight – but claimed he left his London home initially for security reasons after threats to him and his family.
BORIS SAID LET BODIES PILE HIGH
One of the most explosive allegations levelled against the PM is that he bellowed he would “rather let the bodies pile high” than impose a third national lockdown.
Mr Johnson has dismissed the accusation as “total rubbish” – but yesterday his former right-hand man said the shocking reports were true.
Mr Cummings said he heard the incendiary remarks in the PM’s study just after the second November lockdown was announced.
CHICKEN POX PARTIES
Mr Cummings sensationally claimed the most powerful civil servant in the country suggested the PM go on TV to tell people to deliberately catch COVID like it was chickenpox.
He claimed then Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill suggested the public revive “chicken pox parties”.
Slapping down the mandarin Mr Cummings claimed he said: “Mark (Sedwill), you have got to stop using this chicken pox analogy, it's not right.”
BORIS WANTED TO INJECT HIMSELF WITH COVID
Mr Johnson initially dismissed Covid as a “scare story” that would fizzle out like swine flu, Mr Cummings claimed.
The ex-aide claimed the PM even mooted having Chris Whitty inject him with the virus live on TV.
He complained this laid-back approach took the wind out of efforts to plan for the pandemic in the early stages of last year.
For the first time Mr Cummings publicly shed light on the power-struggle at the heart of Government that saw him leave No10 in December last year.
He said Ms Symonds was “desperate” to turf him and his allies out of Downing Street, and at the same time his relationship with the PM was getting “worse and worse”.
Mr Cummings also said he was unhappy with the PM’s fiancee’s push to install her friends in senior Government positions.
EXIT SAGE LEFT
Mr Cummings closed out his marathon grilling ruling out a return to frontline politics.
Asked if he was eyeing up a position in a potential Rishi Sunak administration, he said: “I think everyone from my wife to everybody in Westminster and Whitehall will agree that the less heard from me in the future the better."
But the maverick has made similar claims in years gone by – and so maybe he's not done quite yet.
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