Matt Hancock Refuses Four Times To Say If Dominic Cummings Did The Right Thing

The health secretary said Boris Johnson's adviser was "acting within the guidelines" but dodges questions over whether he did the "moral" thing.

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Matt Hancock has repeatedly refused to say he believes Dominic Cummings “did the right thing” by appearing to flout the lockdown rules.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Thursday morning, presenter Nick Robinson accused the health secretary of “dodging” the question.

Nick Robinson: “Did Dominic Cummings do the right thing?”

Matt Hancock: “I think as I’ve said before, I’ve answered that question.”

NR: “Did he do the right thing? Did he do the right thing? Did he do his duty?”

MH: “Nick. I have answered this question before, a couple of days ago, and the prime minister has answered all these questions endlessly.”

NR: “He’s never answered the moral case – whether he did the right thing.”

MH: “I think he was acting within the guidelines. I also understand why reasonable people might disagree with that.”

NR: “What matters is not dodging the question I am asking you. Did he do the right thing?”

MH: “Far from dodging the question, I have directly answered it, because my judgement is that, as has been told in great detail in public, my view is that he followed the guidelines. I understand why some people don’t agree with that. But that is my view.”

Johnson has said he wants to “move on” on from the row over whether Cummings broke the lockdown by driving to Durham with his family in March.

The PM yesterday refused to publish evidence Cummings presented to him to save his job, and rejected calls for a Cabinet Office inquiry.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman said in his 10 years as an MP nothing had matched “the scale and depth of the anger” from voters over Cummings’ actions.

And cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt has said there are “inconsistencies” in Cummings account.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said Cummings “broke the rules” and claimed the PM’s “unwillingness or inability to do the right thing has left the government looking untrustworthy, unprincipled”.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, he said the government had “undermined the very public health advice that is necessary to keep us all safe, just to keep one powerful aide in his job”.

“In times like this, we need good government. A government that we can trust. A government that is entirely focused on saving lives.”

It comes as the government’s plans to ease the lockdown are due to be confirmed in an official review, which Downing Street expects will give the all-clear for schools to begin reopening next week.

The PM has said all non-essential shops in England can reopen from June 15 after he closed them with the imposed lockdown on March 23.


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