MATT HANCOCK has disputed claims he mishandled care home discharges and said the Scottish Government had the “same issues” to deal with as he did.

Speaking to MPs this morning, the health secretary was put under pressure to explain the allegations made against him yesterday by former senior aide Dominic Cummings.

He said that the majority of the claims made by Mr Cummings, which included that he was repeatedly “lying”, should have been sacked and mishandled the discharge of people into care homes from hospitals in England, were unsubstantiated.

Mr Hancock was challenged by several  Scottish MPs including Neale Hanvey, Patrick Grady and Martyn Day over various elements of the aide’s testimony.

Alba MP Mr Hanvey asked directly if Mr Hancock told Mr Cummings that “people will be tested before being transferred into care homes”.

Mr Hanvey, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said the Cummings evidence “only served to reenforce what many have suspected”, saying it depicted a “a tale of chaos, deception, dishonesty and failure, including the reckless suggestion of herd immunity and chicken pox parties.”

He said that yesterday the health secretary was “quite literally running away from his responsibilities”.

Mr Hanvey added: “Did the Secretary of State, as alleged, categorically tell Mr Cummings and unspecified others that people will be tested before being transferred into care homes and, if he did not, why then was transfer without testing the adopted policy across England and the devolved governments including Scotland?”

He said if the allegations made by Mr Cummings were found to be true, Mr Hancock “surely” must resign.

 The Health Secretary responded by saying that “so many of the allegations were unsubstantiated” and then explained the problems over care homes were not unique to Westminster.

He did not answer the direct question about whether he told officials that people would be tested before being discharged to care homes, but said: “The Scottish government with its responsibilities for social care, also had to respond to the same challenges and dilemmas that we did, as did other countries across Europe and across the world, when we were driving incredibly hard as one United Kingdom to increase testing, volumes…”

He added: “It was the same challenge for the administration in Edinburgh as it was here in Westminster and the best way to rise to these challenges is to do so, working together.”

Mr Hancock was also quizzed by Labour MPs including Yasmin Qureshi, who asked when the Prime Minister and other would be “investigated y the police for alleged corporate manslaughter”.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said the allegations by the Prime Minister’s former closest aide were “grave and serious”.

He told the Commons: “That the Prime Minister is unfit for office, that his inaction meant that tens of thousands needlessly died, allegations from Dominic Cummings that he specifically is accused of misleading colleagues – an allegation from Mr Cummings – on our preparedness and lack of protection for people in care homes.

“These allegations from Cummings are either true, and if so the Secretary of State potentially stands in breach of the ministerial code and the Nolan principles, or they are false and the Prime Minister brought a fantasist and a liar into the heart of Downing Street. Which is it?

“Families who have lost loved ones deserve full answers from him today.

“Is he ashamed he promised a protective shield around care homes and over 30,000 care home residents have died?”

Mr Hancock agreed the allegations were serious but said: “I welcome the opportunity to come to the House to put formally on the record that these unsubstantiated allegations around honesty are not true.

“I’ve been straight with people in public and in private throughout.”

He said he had held “84 press conferences, I’ve answered 2,667 contributions to this House and answered questions from colleagues, the media and the public – and we’ll keep on with this spirit of openness and transparency throughout.”

He said he rejected the “unsubstantiated” allegations which were “not true”.