- Boris Johnson failed to take Covid seriously, leading to the deaths of thousands of people, his former chief advisor has said.
- Dominic Cummings said the UK government “fell disastrously short”.
- He suggested senior people were too busy “skiing” at the start of the pandemic.
- The government’s plans were “terrifyingly s***” Cummings said.
- Dominic Cummings also apologised for his own role in government.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Boris Johnson’s government failed to prevent the deaths of thousands of Covid victims and “fell disastrously short,” due to its “terrifyingly s***” plans, his former chief advisor Dominic Cummings told members of Parliament on Wednesday.
Cummings, who left Johnson’s government last year, apologised for his own failure to act earlier to prevent the more than 120,000 people in the UK who have died of the coronavirus.
“The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisors like me, fell disastrously short,” he told a House of Commons committee.
“When the country needed it most, the government failed it”.
He added: “I would like to say to all the families of the people who died how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made.”
Cummings says he warned the prime minister on March 12 that the government’s Covid plans were “terrifyingly shit” and that hundreds of thousands of people would die unless he locked down the country.
Cummings took aim at his former boss and his team in Downing Street for failing to realise the seriousness of the crisis at the start of 2020.
“Lots of the key people were literally skiing in February,” Cummings said.
He revealed claims that the UK prime minister had dismissed the coming pandemic as a “scare story” and even offered to be injected with the virus on live television to show it was nothing to be scared of.
“In February the PM regarded this as just a scare story,” Cummings told MPs.
“The view of lots of people was if the PM said it’s just like swine flu, don’t worry about it, I will get [chief medical officer] Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with it, that would not help.”