Dominic Cummings has accused Matt Hancock of “flat-out lying” to the Covid inquiry by claiming he was the first to push for a lockdown in the UK.

Former Health Secretary Hancock claimed he called on then Prime Minister Boris Johnson to enforce a lockdown on March 13, 2020.

But in a devastating post

He said: “Hancock flat out lied to the inquiry and claimed he had privately pushed for a lockdown with the Prime Minister on the 13th – but admits there is no evidence of this.”

Cummings also claimed he “physically blocked” the then-health minister from coming to a meeting the next day because he was “putting everyone on the spot” about herd immunity.

But a Hancock ally said: “Cummings is not a reliable witness and this tweet is false.”

“Matt called Boris on the 13th, argued for a lockdown on the 14th and then Boris invited Matt to the smaller meeting after Cummings tried to exclude him.”

Giving evidence today, Hancock told the inquiry that Cummings was a “malign influence” who had created a toxic “culture of fear” in government.

Cummings is not the first witness to accuse the former health minister of dishonesty.

In an earlier evidence hearing, former chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance told the inquiry that Hancock had a habit of saying things that were “not true”.

And Helen MacNamara claimed he “regularly” told colleagues things “which they later found out were not true”.

Former deputy cabinet secretary Helen MacNamara also said Hancock would say things “that surprise people because they knew the evidence base wasn’t there.”
Hancock denied these claims during his evidence.

Covid investigations consultant Hugo Keith also appeared skeptical about the legitimacy of Hancock’s lockdown claims. He asked why there was no mention of it in his book Pandemic Diaries.

“There’s a whole page about how you woke up from the morning flight to Belfast… you then flew to Cardiff and so on.

“Telling the Prime Minister of this country for the first time that he must declare an immediate lockdown is certainly worth remembering, isn’t it?”

Hancock responded: “I did not have full access to my papers to write this and that came to light when researching the papers leading up to this investigation.”

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