Boris hits back after ex-aide alleges pandemic lies, chaos - GulfToday

Boris hits back after ex-aide alleges pandemic lies, chaos


Boris Johnson prepares to leave after attending an event in London. File photo

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday denied overseeing the needless deaths of many thousands of Covid patients, after his former chief adviser alleged the government's pandemic response was undermined by lies and incompetence.

Johnson declined to say whether Dominic Cummings was telling the truth in his incendiary claims to MPs on Wednesday, but said: "Some of the commentary I've heard doesn't bear any relation to reality."


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Cummings, an abrasive political strategist who masterminded the anti-EU campaign in Britain's Brexit referendum, called Johnson "unfit for the job" and said Health Secretary Matt Hancock was a serial liar.

Asked about Cummings' central claim that tens of thousands of people had died needlessly last year, including in care homes for the elderly, Johnson told reporters: "No, I don't think so.

Dominic Cummings

"Of course this has been an incredibly difficult series of decisions, none of which we've taken lightly," he said, insisting the government did all it could to save lives and protect the state-run National Health Service (NHS).

Cummings said the health minister "should have been fired for at least 15, 20 things" after "lying to everybody on multiple occasions, in meeting after meeting in the cabinet room and publicly".

Hancock claimed in May 2020 to have thrown a "protective ring" around care homes -- but the main opposition Labour party noted that 30,000 elderly residents have died of Covid-19 and 20,000 older patients were discharged from hospitals without testing.

Labour also highlighted Cummings' assertion that Hancock had dishonestly blamed NHS chiefs for the government's failure to procure adequate personal protective equipment for frontline medics.

Agence France-Presse



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