Dominic Cummings claims PM Johnson only let Hancock go after ‘89 texts an hour’ from wife Carrie Johnson

Former adviser makes comments as prime minister claims he sacked health secretary for breaking Covid rules

Samuel Osborne
Monday 28 June 2021 15:02
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Camera that caught Matt Hancock kissing aide has been disabled, Sajid Javid says

Former No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings has claimed Boris Johnson only let Matt Hancock resign as health secretary following 89 texts an hour from his wife Carrie.

It comes as the prime minister suggested he sacked Mr Hancock for breaking Covid rules, despite initially refusing to dismiss him and declaring the matter “closed”.

A Downing Street spokesperson said the prime minister continued to have “full confidence” in Mr Hancock, adding: “The prime minister has accepted the health secretary’s apology and considers the matter closed.”

Mr Hancock resigned on Saturday after it emerged he had breached his own Covid lockdown restrictions by kissing his aide, Gina Coladangelo, in his office. He made the move after backlash from the public and some Conservative MPs, having initially refused to stand down on Friday.

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But during a campaign visit to the Batley by-election, Mr Johnson claimed the departure had happened at “about the right pace” during a pandemic.

“I read the story on Friday and we’ve got a new health secretary in post on Saturday and I think that’s about the right pace to proceed in a pandemic,” he said.

In reference to the prime minister’s statement, Mr Cummings tweeted: “Trolley Fri: Argh, accept apology I consider the matter closed.

“Media/MP babble, 89 Carrie texts p/hour.

“Trolley Sat, SMASH: Arghhh Matt go now you'll be back better stronger shortly matey forward to victory!

“Trolley Mon, CRASH: when I saw the story on Fri we had a new SoS on Sat.”

Asked about Mr Cummings’ suggestion that Mr Hancock was only sacked after pressure from Carrie Johnson, the prime minister's official spokesman said: "Obviously, as you would expect, I completely refute that.

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"You can see the actions the prime minister has taken and I've talked you through the discussions he had with the former health secretary after receiving his resignation."

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