Hancock: 'It took time to build the testing' for care homes

Hancock: 'It took time to build the testing' for care homes

Hancock: 'It took time to build the testing' for care homes

Mr Cummings also suggested that Health Secretary Matt Hancock should have been sacked for numerous failings, accusing him of "lying" to people. "Quite the opposite of putting a shield around them, we sent people with covid back to the care homes".

Earlier, Mr Hancock told MPs the "unsubstantiated allegations" from Dominic Cummings that he lied during the pandemic "are not true".

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Colchester hospital in Colchester, eastern England on May 27, 2021.

"We did everything we could to protect the NHS", Boris Johnson says as he dodges the question as to whether Matt Hancock is "the best man for the job".

Responding to Mr Cummings' assessment of the Prime Minister as unfit for the job, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "I don't think the Prime Minister has made good decisions in this pandemic".

"I think it is (wrong)", housing minister Robert Jenrick told BBC radio when asked about the allegation from Cummings that tens of thousands of people had died unnecessarily.

Asked if he agreed with Cummings' allegation, Johnson said: "No, I don't think so, but of course this has been an incredibly hard series of decisions, none of which we've taken lightly".

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"What people want us to get on with is delivering the (reopening) road map and trying, cautiously, to take our country forward through what has been one of the most hard periods that I think anybody can remember".

Asked whether the rise in the Indian variant Johnson said he did not "see anything now in the data" to divert from the June 21 target for the next stage of exiting lockdown but "we may need to wait" for more data.

The prime minister told reporters: "As I have said many times I don't see anything now in the data to suggest that we have to deviate from the road map. I'm afraid we just have to wait a little bit longer to see what's happening post step three".

With nearly 128,000 deaths, the United Kingdom has the world's fifth highest official Covid-19 toll, far higher than the government's initial worst-case estimates of 20,000.

A mass vaccination campaign that started in December has brought infections and fatalities down sharply, though Britain is now reckoning with a more transmissible new strain of the virus first identified in India.

Scientists expect the variant to become the dominant one in Britain but they say existing vaccines appear to work against it. Johnson has announced there will be a full inquiry into the government's handling of the crisis, but not until the spring of 2022.

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