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26 May 2021

Stand-out quotes from Dominic Cummings’ evidence

26 May 2021

Here are some of the key quotes from Dominic Cummings’ appearance at the Commons health and social care and science and technology committees:

– On the performance of Health Secretary Matt Hancock:

“There’s no doubt at all that many senior people performed far, far disastrously below the standards which the country has a right to expect. I think the Secretary of State for Health is certainly one of those people.”

“I think the Secretary of State for Health should’ve been fired for at least 15, 20 things, including lying to everybody on multiple occasions in meeting after meeting in the Cabinet room and publicly.”

– On the Prime Minister:

“I just got on with things because my view was the Prime Minister already is about a thousand times too obsessed with the media.”

“It’s just completely crackers that someone like me should have been in there, just the same as it’s crackers that Boris Johnson was in there, and that the choice at the last election was Jeremy Corbyn.”

“In February the Prime Minister regarded this as just a scare story, he described it as the new swine flu.”

“I have been critical of the Prime Minister. But… if you dropped, you know, Bill Gates or someone like that into that job on March 1, the most competent people in the world you could possibly find, any of them would have had a complete nightmare.”

Prime Minister’s Questions (PA Wire)

On the Government’s Covid preparations in early 2020:

“The Government itself and Number 10 was not operating on a war footing in February on this in any way, shape or form. Lots of key people were literally skiing in the middle of February.”

“This is like a scene from Independence Day with Jeff Goldblum saying, ‘the aliens are here and your whole plan is broken, and you need a new plan’.”

“The problem in this crisis was very much lions led by donkeys over and over again.”

“There wasn’t any plan for shielding, there wasn’t even a helpline for shielding, there wasn’t any plan for financial incentives, there wasn’t any plan for almost anything in any kind of detail at all.”

Dominic Cummings gives evidence to a joint inquiry of the Commons health and social care and science and technology committees (PA Wire)

On his own performance:

“It’s true that I hit the panic button and said we’ve got to ditch the official plan, it’s true that I helped to try to create what an official plan was. I think it’s a disaster that I acted too late. The fundamental reason was that I was really frightened of acting.”

“There’s no doubt that he (Boris Johnson) was extremely badly let down by the whole system. And it was a system failure, of which I include myself in that as well, I also failed.”

“I apologise for not acting earlier and if I had acted earlier then lots of people might still be alive.”

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