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WhatsApp messages published by Boris Johnson's former aide Dominic Cummings appear to show the Prime Minister calling Health Secretary Matt Hancock 'hopeless' at the start of the pandemic.
Cummings has blamed Mr Hancock for failings during the initial response to the Covid crisis, with Cummings today (16 June) publishing screenshots of WhatsApp messages that appear to be between him and the Prime Minister.
On 3 March 2020, Cummings - who came under fire for breaking lockdown rules last year - said the US had increased testing capacity and the UK was falling behind.
The Prime Minister supposedly responded: "Totally f****** hopeless."
Mr Cummings, who left Downing Street in November during a bitter power struggle in No 10, has targeted much of his criticism since leaving at the Health Secretary.
In a blog post exceeding 7,000-words, Mr Cummings also published another private message about the struggles to procure ventilators for Covid-19 patients.
He tells the PM he heard officials admit that the government turned down ventilators when there was a shortage, because the price had increased.
A contact appearing to be Mr Johnson replied on 27 March last year: "It's Hancock. He has been hopeless."
In another message, on 27 April last year, the Prime Minister seems to call the situation around personal protective equipment (PPE) 'a disaster'.
He also appears to hint that he wanted to divert some responsibilities to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.
Mr Johnson apparently added: "I can't think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting Gove on."
These messages mark Cummings' first lot of supporting evidence since he accused Hancock of failing on care homes and of 'criminal, disgraceful behaviour' around testing.
However, Hancock denied the allegations against him, saying last week he though it was 'telling' that Cummings was yet to provide the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee with written evidence.
Mr Cummings said the initial post shows that 'No10/Hancock have repeatedly lied about the failures last year' and accused them of now trying to 'rewrite history'.
Cummings published the details on Substack, a platform that allows people to charge for newsletters. He has said he plans to charge subscribers for insider information on subjects other than the pandemic.
LADbible has contacted Number 10 for a comment.
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