Graham Stringer MP

Salford MP Graham Stringer called Dominic Cummings’s analysis on the government’s lack of preparation for Covid-19 “shocking”.

Former chief adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings was grilled by a committee of MPs last week over the governments handling of the pandemic.

The Prime Minister’s former advisor made explosive allegations regarding the government’s response to COVID-19, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s role in decision making.

Cumming’s alleged the government ‘failed’, and deemed Boris Johnson ‘not fit for office’.

Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer, who was on the committee, said: “[The grilling] didn’t go as expected, it was longer and more interesting than I expected.

“Surprises were how emotional and apologetic Dominic was about his failures inside the government to do what he thought would have saved lives. I wasn’t expecting him to nearly burst into tears”

“The depth of his analysis on how poorly the centre of government was prepared for an epidemic of the kind we’ve had was shocking”

Once a hugely influential figure, Cummings left his Downing Street role last autumn following an internal power struggle, and has since been highly critical of the government.

During the grilling, Cummimgs alleged the Health Secretary allowed COVID-19 patients to return to care homes infected with the virus.

Stringer said: “His attack on the health secretary Matt Hancock was stronger than I expected, but overall I believed what he said – it had the ring of credibility”

“Although he has an axe to grind, it doesn’t mean what he said wasn’t accurate”

Stringer said that although the Prime Minister may not yet be damaged by the the committee grilling, it may have longer-term effects for the Government.

“I think in the short term no, the Prime Minister won’t be rattled. I think what the prime minister will look at will be his standing in the opinion polls, and that hasn’t yet shifted.

“I think long term, you can’t have that level of criticism of incompetence, without it seeping into the public’s consciousness”

Stringer called Health Secretary Matt Hancock “toast”, saying: “If there is documentary evidence to confirm what Dominic Cummings said, then probably, yes, he will resign”

“If that documentary evidence doesn’t turn up, then it’s doubtful, but I think the prime minister will already have made his mind up that Hancock will not continue.

“He just won’t want to be pushed into that situation by an ex-employee. So I think Hancock is toast, but it won’t be immediately, unless there is really strong physical evidence of his lies”

Further details of the government’s handling of the pandemic will emerge during the official public enquiry, which Boris Johnson has said will begin in Spring 2022.

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