Boris Johnson: "We did everything we could to protect the NHS and care homes"

27 May 2021, 13:30

Boris Johnson made the remarks during a visit to Colchester Hospital in Essex
Boris Johnson made the remarks during a visit to Colchester Hospital in Essex. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The Prime Minister has said the Government "did everything we could to protect the NHS" and care homes following bombshell evidence yesterday given to MPs by his former top aide Dominic Cummings.

Boris Johnson also said that some of what Mr Cummings described to a panel of MPs yesterday "doesn't bear any relation to reality."

Mr Johnson said: "We did everything we could to protect the NHS and to protect care homes as well."

He added: "We put £1.4 billion extra into infection control within care homes, we established a care homes action plan, I remember very clearly, to ensure that we tried to stop infection between care homes. We remain very vigilant."

Responding to Mr Cummings' claim that he was not a fit person to be leading the country, Boris Johnson said: "I think it's important for us to focus on what really matters to the people of this country.

READ MORE: Matt Hancock brands Dominic Cummings' allegations as 'unsubstantiated and untrue'

READ MORE: Dominic Cummings: The key quotes from Boris Johnson's ex-adviser

"I think, if I may say so, that some of the commentary I have heard doesn't bear any relation to reality.

"What people want us to get on with is delivering the road map and trying - cautiously - to take our country forward through what has been one of the most difficult periods that I think anybody can remember."

The PM's official spokesman added: "I think the public want the Government to deliver on their priorities - supporting the NHS, creating more jobs, supporting the economy as we come out of the pandemic.

"That's what we are focused on."

Asked whether he said he would rather see "bodies pile high" than order a third lockdown, Boris Johnson said: "I have already made my position very clear on that point.

"I'm getting on with the job of delivering the road map that I think is the sensible way forward."

Mr Johnson has previously denied making the comment, which Dominic Cummings told MPs he heard from the Prime Minister in his Downing Street study.

Asked if Mr Cummings told the truth, Mr Johnson dodged the question.

Pressed on whether he was arguing with the things Mr Cummings said, the Prime Minister said: "I make no comment on that."

Earlier today in the Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Dominic Cummings' allegations he repeatedly lied are unsubstantiated and untrue.

The Prime Minister has said that some of the devastating claims made by his former adviser Dominic Cummings before MPs yesterday do not "bear any relation to reality."

Speaking to MPs, the Prime Minister's ex-adviser said on Wednesday that Mr Hancock should have been fired on multiple occasions during the crisis.

He claimed Mr Hancock repeatedly lied about key aspects of the pandemic, including PPE supplies and the state of the crisis in care homes.

The Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said either Mr Cummings' allegations were true and Mr Hancock had breached the ministerial code, or the Prime Minister brought a "fantasist and a liar into the heart of Downing Street".

Responding on Thursday in the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said: "These allegations that were put yesterday… are serious allegations, and I welcome the opportunity to come to the House to put formally on the record that these unsubstantiated allegations around honesty are not true.

"I've been straight with people in public and in private throughout."

Mr Hancock will later lead a 5pm press conference where he is expected to face further questions about Mr Cummings' claims.