Dominic Cummings Hasn't Provided Any Written Evidence After Bombshell Committee Session, Jeremy Hunt Says
Dominic Cummings has missed a deadline to provide further evidence to support his "serious allegations" made against the government, Jeremy Hunt has said.
The chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee said Cummings had not provided concrete written evidence to back-up his explosive testimony given to MPs last month.
The former Number 10 aide had been originally given a 4 June deadline to produce documents to substantiate his claims – including that Health Secretary Matt Hancock had lied to ministers and MPs, and that he should have been fired for "at least 15 to 20 things" in the early stages of the pandemic.
Cummings also alleged Hancock showed "criminal, disgraceful behaviour" by interfering in the testing programme and called the health secretary's pledge to put a "shield" around care home during the pandemic as "complete nonsense".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to appear before the joint select committee later this week, with Hunt saying he will have the allegations put to him.
But asked on Times Radio on Tuesday whether Cummings had produced any of the documents, he said: "No, he has not."
Questioned on the session with Hancock, due on Thursday, Hunt added: "Obviously, Dominic Cummings made some very serious allegations against him, in particular, saying he lied repeatedly, so we will put those allegations to him.
"But we haven't received the written evidence to back those claims up that we were expecting," Hunt continued.
"But we will be putting all those allegations to [Hancock], to give him his rightful chance to respond."
Meanwhile, a source close to the committee told The Guardian: "You cannot simply go around making accusations that cabinet ministers lied in front of a select committee without backing it up with evidence.
"We will ask that he provides any evidence to the committee and if he does we will decide whether to publish it before the health secretary comes before the committee."
Speaking on Sunday, Hancock refuted the claims, insisting he "did not" say that all people being discharged from hospital to care homes would receive testing. He said he had instead pledged to introduce testing capacity was available.
Addressing Cummings' accusations directly, he added: "The allegation you refer to are completely wrong."
Asked about the situation in March last year, Hancock told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "The situation with respect to care homes is that we brought in the policy of wanting to test everybody who went in to a care home as soon as we have those tests available.
"But at the time we didn't have the testing capacity, and I built that testing capacity, put in place the 100,000 target. And we got the tests, and then we could implement the policy."