Matt Hancock responds to Dominic Cummings allegations
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Nadra Ahmed, executive chairman of the National Care Association, accused the Government of ignoring social care in the early days of the Covid crisis. It comes after the Prime Minister’s former senior adviser blasted Mr Hancock’s protective shield claim as “complete nonsense”.
During a seven-hour-long committee hearing on Wednesday, Mr Cummings said the Health Secretary had previously agreed COVID-19 testing would take place before residents were sent back to care homes.
Mr Hancock has denied promising Mr Johnson in March 2020 that patients discharged from hospitals into care homes were being tested before being transferred.
Speaking on last night’s BBC Question Time, Ms Ahmed said she “absolutely” did not agree with Mr Hancock’s claims of a protective shield around care homes.
She added: “That’s absolute rubbish. There was no shield around.
“I think that was an utterance that came about in a form of embarrassment perhaps because nothing had been done to social care.”
Ms Ahmed also explained how social care was put “on the altar to be slaughtered while we worked on the mantra that the NHS must be protected”.
She continued: “I absolutely understand why we needed the NHS to be running in the way that it was because we didn’t know what was coming round the corner.
“I think what we didn’t know was the consequence of ignoring social care.”
Question Time host Fiona Bruce went on to ask Ms Ahmed whether the Health Secretary should resign after this week’s explosive revelations.
She replied: “I don’t think it’s a resigning matter and it’s not for me to decide.
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“I think it’s about ensuring that we talk about the issues rather than think about uttering things that are untrue.
“That is not true. There was no protective shield. We know that. We were working the floor.
“If there had been a protective shield there would have been a plan to support the most vulnerable people, the people that we look after.”
During the hearing, Mr Cummings also described Mr Hancock as “completely incapable of doing the job” and said he “should have been fired” for lying.
On Thursday, the Health Secretary told MPs in the House of Commons that Mr Cummings’ “allegations around honesty are not true”.
He added: “I’ve been straight with people in public and in private throughout.”
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