No 10 braced for assault by vengeful Cummings

Dominic Cummings should 'join a think tank' says commentator

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The vengeful former No10 chief claimed ministers had no plan for a lockdown before experts started “screaming” that hundreds of thousands of people could die. He also singled out Health Secretary Matt Hancock – who was on a visit to a hospital in Cornwall yesterday – for not understanding the devastating effects of letting the virus rip to achieve herd immunity. Mr Cummings stepped up his blistering attacks as he prepared to give evidence to MPs tomorrow.

The former adviser, who was at the heart of decision-making, said the original intention was to allow the virus to play out quickly to avoid a second peak that could overwhelm the NHS in winter.

But in a long Twitter thread he said it became apparent the strategy was “disastrously misconceived” and a “Plan B had to be bodged amid utter chaos”. He claimed that by March 13 last year the Government still had “neither an intention to lockdown nor any official plan for doing so”. A full lockdown was eventually announced on March 23.

No10 is braced for a full-frontal assault with Mr Cummings vowing to present a “crucial historical Covid document” at the hearing.

Ahead of the showdown Downing Street was yesterday forced to deny that Mr Johnson did not miss emergency meetings on the emerging pandemic because he was working on a book.

His spokesman said he was “not aware” of Mr Johnson doing any work on a biography of William Shakespeare while in office.

The Premier did not chair the first five meetings of the Cobra emergency committee in January and February last year, but Downing Street insisted this was not unusual.

Officials fear Mr Cummings will accuse Mr Johnson of missing key meetings because he was working on the book to fund his divorce from Marina Wheeler, his second wife.

And Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who was in the Cabinet at the time, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain herd immunity “was never the policy of this Government”.

She said chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance had talked about it being “one of the potential tools in the armoury” but it was not the goal.

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