Coronavirus UK news LIVE – Matt Hancock to face MPs after Dominic Cummings attacked his 'criminal' handling of pandemic

MATT Hancock will face MPs and the media today after Dominic Cummings claimed he lied to colleagues – and should have been fired over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ex No 10 aide yesterday insisted Boris did DID say he’d rather ‘let the bodies pile high’ rather than have third lockdown – and claimed 'criminal' Matt Hancock should've been fired at least 15 times

The health secretary did not comment on former No 10 aide Mr Cummings' explosive claims ahead of his Commons appearance this morning – telling reporters he was "just off to drive forward the vaccine programme" as he left his north-west London home.

During PMQs yesterday Mr Johnson slapped down claims he'd failed the nation after his ex-aide Dominic Cummings launched an extraordinary broadside at him over his Covid failings.

He told MPs: "I take full responsibility for everything that has happened. I am truly sorry for the suffering the people of this country experiences. But the government acted throughout with the intention to save lives, protect the NHS and in accordance with the best scientific advice."

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

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    DOMINIC CUMMINGS’ EVIDENCE: SOME OF THE KEY CLAIMS

    • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as ‘tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die’
    • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
    • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
    • ‘Lions led by donkeys’ – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
    • There was no ‘sense of urgency’ about the pandemic until late February
    • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

    AN APOLOGY FROM CUMMINGS ‘ISN’T GOING TO CUT IT’, SAYS BEREAVED SON

    A bereaved 18-year-old son has said an apology from Dominic Cummings about the Government’s handling of the pandemic “isn’t going to cut it”.

    The Prime Minister’s former adviser said tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the Government’s failings over coronavirus.

    Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Cummings apologised, saying that ministers, officials and advisers had fallen “disastrously short” of the standards they should expect in a crisis.

    Bereaved family members, including a wife, son and daughter, said listening to Mr Cummings’ testimony was “horrific”.

    “I believe Cummings apologised but an apology isn’t going to cut it, they need to do much better,” Mert Dogus, 18, told the PA news agency.

    MUSIC TEACHER, 33, FACES JAIL AFTER FAKING COVID TEST TO FLY TO EGYPT AFTER BEING SPRUNG WITH BOGUS CERTIFICATE

    A MUSIC teacher is believed to be one of the first Brits to be convicted of using a fake Covid test certificate to try to board a flight.

    Philip Cunningham, 33, was stopped at Heathrow Airport on May 4 after staff spotted the Covid test number on his bogus certificate was missing a digit when he checked in to his flight to Egypt.

    Cops were called to the airport to question the Birmingham man, but he maintained he had tested negative the day before, Ealing Magistrates heard today. 

    When officers contacted the testing company they had no record of him getting a test with them.  Cunningham was arrested and taken in for questioning at Heathrow Airport Police Station.

    Prosecutor Izola Gribbin said: “He told police officers: ‘Yes I did it, I sent them on a wild goose chase. I’m a music teacher, this could ruin my life’.”

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      WATCH: 'LET THE BODIES PILE HIGH'

      Dominic Cummings says he heard Boris Johnson say ‘let the bodies pile high’ in Covid lockdown rant

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      CAUSE OF BLOOD CLOTS LINKED TO ASTRAZENECA AND J&J COVID VACCINES ‘SOLVED’

      BOFFINS claim to have cracked the cause of rare blood clots linked to Covid jabs and say they know how to solve it.

      They say the phenomenon is caused by “floating mutant proteins” which occur when the spike protein of the Sars-Cov-2 virus is sent into the wrong part of a cell.

      Lead scientist Rolf Marschalek said US drugs firm Johnson & Johnson has already been in touch to ask about his team’s research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. But he said he had not yet discussed its findings with AstraZeneca, manufacturer of the Oxford vaccine.

      He said: “They never contacted us so we never spoke to them, but if they do I can tell them what to do to make a better vaccine.”

      Both the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson jabs have been linked to a small number of severe blood clots.

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      MUSIC TEACHER, 33, FACES JAIL AFTER FAKING COVID TEST TO FLY TO EGYPT AFTER BEING SPRUNG WITH BOGUS CERTIFICATE

      A MUSIC teacher is believed to be one of the first Brits to be convicted of using a fake Covid test certificate to try to board a flight.

      Philip Cunningham, 33, was stopped at Heathrow Airport on May 4 after staff spotted the Covid test number on his bogus certificate was missing a digit when he checked in to his flight to Egypt.

      Cops were called to the airport to question the Birmingham man, but he maintained he had tested negative the day before, Ealing Magistrates heard today. 

      When officers contacted the testing company they had no record of him getting a test with them.  Cunningham was arrested and taken in for questioning at Heathrow Airport Police Station.

      Prosecutor Izola Gribbin said: “He told police officers: ‘Yes I did it, I sent them on a wild goose chase. I’m a music teacher, this could ruin my life’.”

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      CASES OF NEW YORKSHIRE COVID VARIANT DOUBLE AS ‘CONCERNING MIX OF 25 MUTATIONS’ PROBED

      A NEW Covid variant that emerged in Yorkshire shows how rapidly the virus is evolving to evade vaccines, experts have warned.

      Named AV.1, there have been only 49 cases of the strain confirmed so far.

      Read more here.

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      MATT HANCOCK HAS NOT SEEN CUMMINGS’ ‘PERFORMANCE’ IN FULL

      Matt Hancock said he has not seen Dominic Cummings’ “performance” in full, after the Prime Minister’s former aide told MPs he should have been sacked as Health Secretary.

      Mr Cummings said Mr Hancock should have been fired over coronavirus failings and “criminal, disgraceful behaviour” on the testing target.

      Boris Johnson’s ex-adviser also said Whitehall’s top official recommended to the Prime Minister that Mr Hancock should be sacked.

      As he arrived at his north London home on Wednesday evening, Mr Hancock was asked for his reaction to Mr Cummings’ allegations to MPs, and he replied: “I haven’t seen this performance today in full, and instead I’ve been dealing with getting the vaccination rollout going, especially to over-30s, and saving lives.

      “I’ll be giving a statement to the House of Commons tomorrow and I’ll have more to say then.”

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      MATT HANCOCK TO FACE MPs AT 10.30am

      Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to face MPs today following Dominic Cummings explosive revelations about his alleged conduct during the pandemic.

      Hancock will answer an Urgent Question in the House of Commons over allegations he lied to Cabinet about a range of issues including claiming people would be tested for Covid-19 before being sent back to care homes.

      Giving evidence to the Science and Health select committees yesterday, Cummings said he urged the Prime Minister to fire Hancock "almost daily" during the pandemic or it would lead to more deaths.

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      EXPERT TELLS YORKSHIRE REGION ‘DON’T BE ALARMED’ ABOUT NEW VARIANT

      Greg Fell, director of public health in Sheffield, stressed there is no evidence to suggest it spreads faster or that vaccines do not work against it.

      He told people in the Yorkshire region “please don’t be alarmed” about the variant. 

      But on Sunday, Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “It is a variant under investigation – that means it has been spotted to have particular mutations that can be associated with adverse outcomes.

      “So it might be more susceptible to being more transmissible or counter some of the immune response that we would normally produce.”

      Public Health England said there is “currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective”.

      A Downing Street spokesman said it is monitoring the emergence of AV.1. 

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      DOMINIC CUMMINGS’ EVIDENCE: SOME OF THE KEY CLAIMS

      • Official inquiry needs to be held sooner as ‘tens of thousands of people died who did not need to die’
      • Boris Johnson compared the virus to swine flu and suggested he should be injected with Covid-19 live on TV to prove it was not dangerous
      • Cummings told PM he must fire Matt Hancock for lying on multiple occasions including telling Cabinet people who would be tested before being sent back to care homes
      • ‘Lions led by donkeys’ – there were great people working on the response but the top leadership were not up to the job
      • There was no ‘sense of urgency’ about the pandemic until late February
      • Former adviser said he drove hundreds of miles to Durham while suffering from Covid because of security threats to his family

      WATCH: MATT HANCOCK CONFRONTED BY JOURNALISTS AFTER DOMINIC CUMMINGS' LYING ACCUSATIONS

      NORTHERN IRELAND OPENS VACCINATIONS TO EVERYONE AGED 18 AND OVER

      The Covid-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland has opened for everyone aged 18 and over.

      More than one million people in the region have now had at least one dose of the vaccine – over 70% of the adult population – and more than 625,000 (over 40%) have received two doses.

      Health Minister Robin Swann said: "I am delighted that our vaccination programme is now open to all adults in Northern Ireland.

      "I know this will be very welcome news for young people who have been waiting patiently for their turn to get the jab.

      "Today's announcement is another important milestone in the drive to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we can, so that we can see a return to normality."

      CAUSE OF BLOOD CLOTS LINKED TO ASTRAZENECA AND J&J COVID VACCINES ‘SOLVED’

      BOFFINS claim to have cracked the cause of rare blood clots linked to Covid jabs and say they know how to solve it.

      They say the phenomenon is caused by “floating mutant proteins” which occur when the spike protein of the Sars-Cov-2 virus is sent into the wrong part of a cell.

      Lead scientist Rolf Marschalek said US drugs firm Johnson & Johnson has already been in touch to ask about his team’s research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. But he said he had not yet discussed its findings with AstraZeneca, manufacturer of the Oxford vaccine.

      He said: “They never contacted us so we never spoke to them, but if they do I can tell them what to do to make a better vaccine.”

      Both the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson jabs have been linked to a small number of severe blood clots.

      IRELAND: SIX PEOPLE AGED 13 AND OVER ALLOWED PER TABLE WHEN HOSPITALITY RESUMES

      Six people aged 13 and over will be allowed per table when restaurants, pubs and cafes reopen this summer.

      When children are included, the total number per table will be capped at 15 people (six people over 13 and nine children aged 12 and under), said Failte Ireland.

      The tourism body published its revised Covid-19 hospitality guidelines on Wednesday ahead of the phased reopening of the sector next month.

      But where social distances can be maintained of at least two metres, then there will be no time limit indoors.

      There will be no limit on how long customers can spend eating and drinking outdoors.

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        HOLIDAYMAKERS RISK LOSING THOUSANDS OF POUNDS JETTING OFF TO AMBER LIST COUNTRIES FROM INVALID INSURANCE

        BRITS heading abroad risk losing thousands of pounds if they are taken ill on holiday, have their holiday cancelled or lose luggage.

        Travel insurance could be invalid if holidaymakers travel to some of the destinations on the government’s amber list, leaving them out of pocket if they need to make a claim.

        Countries have been listed as red, amber or green destinations, as part of the governments traffic light system approach to bringing back holidays after covid.

        Travel to amber list countries is allowed, although it is advised against, and many holidaymakers have booked breaks to these destinations.

        Amber list countries include popular holiday spots like Spain, Greece and Italy. But travel insurance policies are unlikely to cover travel to these places because the foreign office advises against “all but essential travel”.

      • Joseph Gamp

        GRAPHIC: COVID VARIANTS OF CONCERN IN THE UK

         

      • Joseph Gamp

        70% OF NORTHERN IRELAND POPULATION HAVE RECEIVED FIRST COVID-19 JAB

        More than 70% of the adult population in Northern Ireland have received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccination.

        Health Minister Robin Swann said over 40% of the population are now fully vaccinated.

        He also announced that in order to maintain the programme's momentum, the vaccination programme will be extended to the 18-24-year-old age group "in the very near future".

        "Alongside vaccination, contact-tracing, testing and self-isolation following a positive test remain the cornerstones of our ongoing public health response," he said.

        "I would again appeal to the public to work with us and keep playing their part in preventing the spread of the virus.

        "That's how we keep each other safe and protect the hard-won progress we have achieved."

      • Joseph Gamp

        CUMMINGS APOLOGY DOESN'T CUT IT (CONTINUED…)

        His father, cab driver Haci Ali Dogus, 49, died in March 2020 after contracting the virus, leaving behind his wife and two sons.

        "The fact that Boris (Johnson) was on holiday around this time as well and not taking it seriously is shockingly unprofessional," Mr Dogus said.

        "(Hearing what Mr Cummings said) makes me feel like the Government doesn't care about us unless we contribute a lot to the economy.

        "It shows that my family and I have to take initiative to these dangerous situations to protect ourselves and our community – because the Government fails to do so."

        Fran Hall, who lost her husband to Covid last year, said she had heard Mr Cummings "spell out what we all feared" and called for a public inquiry to begin as soon as possible. The 60-year-old's long-term partner Steve Mead, 65, died just three weeks after the couple were married in 2020.

      • Joseph Gamp

        AN APOLOGY FROM CUMMINGS 'ISN'T GOING TO CUT IT', SAYS BEREAVED SON

        A bereaved 18-year-old son has said an apology from Dominic Cummings about the Government's handling of the pandemic "isn't going to cut it".

        The Prime Minister's former adviser said tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the Government's failings over coronavirus.

        Speaking to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Cummings apologised, saying that ministers, officials and advisers had fallen "disastrously short" of the standards they should expect in a crisis.

        Bereaved family members, including a wife, son and daughter, said listening to Mr Cummings' testimony was "horrific".

        "I believe Cummings apologised but an apology isn't going to cut it, they need to do much better," Mert Dogus, 18, told the PA news agency.

      • Joseph Gamp

        CAUSE OF BLOOD CLOTS LINKED TO ASTRAZENECA AND J&J COVID VACCINES ‘SOLVED'

        BOFFINS claim to have cracked the cause of rare blood clots linked to Covid jabs and say they know how to solve it.

        They say the phenomenon is caused by “floating mutant proteins” which occur when the spike protein of the Sars-Cov-2 virus is sent into the wrong part of a cell.

        Lead scientist Rolf Marschalek said US drugs firm Johnson & Johnson has already been in touch to ask about his team's research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. But he said he had not yet discussed its findings with AstraZeneca, manufacturer of the Oxford vaccine.

        He said: “They never contacted us so we never spoke to them, but if they do I can tell them what to do to make a better vaccine.”

        Both the AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson jabs have been linked to a small number of severe blood clots.

      • Joseph Gamp

        GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

      • Joseph Gamp

        MUSIC TEACHER, 33, FACES JAIL AFTER FAKING COVID TEST TO FLY TO EGYPT AFTER BEING SPRUNG WITH BOGUS CERTIFICATE

        A MUSIC teacher is believed to be one of the first Brits to be convicted of using a fake Covid test certificate to try to board a flight.

        Philip Cunningham, 33, was stopped at Heathrow Airport on May 4 after staff spotted the Covid test number on his bogus certificate was missing a digit when he checked in to his flight to Egypt.

        Cops were called to the airport to question the Birmingham man, but he maintained he had tested negative the day before, Ealing Magistrates heard today. 

        When officers contacted the testing company they had no record of him getting a test with them.  Cunningham was arrested and taken in for questioning at Heathrow Airport Police Station.

        Prosecutor Izola Gribbin said: “He told police officers: ‘Yes I did it, I sent them on a wild goose chase. I’m a music teacher, this could ruin my life’.”

      • Joseph Gamp

        WATCH: GRANT SHAPPS THINKS DOMINIC CUMMINGS HAS 'PROBABLY TWEETED MOST OF WHAT HE'S GOING TO SAY ALREADY'

        Grant Shapps thinks Dominic Cummings has ‘probably tweeted most of what he’s going to say already’

         

      • Joseph Gamp

        MATT HANCOCK HAS NOT SEEN CUMMINGS' 'PERFORMANCE' IN FULL

        Matt Hancock said he has not seen Dominic Cummings' "performance" in full, after the Prime Minister's former aide told MPs he should have been sacked as Health Secretary.

        Mr Cummings said Mr Hancock should have been fired over coronavirus failings and "criminal, disgraceful behaviour" on the testing target.

        Boris Johnson's ex-adviser also said Whitehall's top official recommended to the Prime Minister that Mr Hancock should be sacked.

        As he arrived at his north London home on Wednesday evening, Mr Hancock was asked for his reaction to Mr Cummings' allegations to MPs, and he replied: "I haven't seen this performance today in full, and instead I've been dealing with getting the vaccination rollout going, especially to over-30s, and saving lives.

        "I'll be giving a statement to the House of Commons tomorrow and I'll have more to say then."

        Source: Read Full Article

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