BORIS Johnson described his health minister as "f*****g hopeless" over the lack of testing for coronavirus at the start of the pandemic, according to text messages released today.

Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's former senior aide and now one of his biggest critics, released a tranche of documents and messages this morning following his bombshell evidence to a Commons commitee last month. 

Among the evidence, which he claims illustrates his criticism of health secretary Mr Hancock as a 'liar' and incompetent, was a text allegedly from the Prime Minister describing his health secretary in unfavourable terms.

Mr Cummings has also listed a series of questions which he believes Mr Johnson should answer, and has also offered to work with people campaigning for an immediate public inquiry for free.

He wrote: "If you work for Covid victims campaigning for MPs to launch *immediate open inquiry* pls get in touch, I'll help campaign for free, as will others." 

On the questions for Mr Johnson, the former aide wrote: "Given his failures on testing, care homes and PPE why did you keep in post a Secretary of State you described yourself as ‘totally f**king hopeless’ and how many more people died as a result of your failure to remove him?

“Why is No10 lying, including to Parliament, about the fact that the original plan was “herd immunity by September” and had to be abandoned?

“When did Patrick Vallance brief you on NHS data showing that the death rate at the first April peak was much higher than before/after the peak and do you now agree with Hancock that every patient got the treatment they needed?

“Do you now agree with Hancock that there was no shortage of PPE or do you agree with yourself in April 2020 that PPE supply was ‘a disaster’ that required moving Hancock?

“How many people died in care homes because of what you called the ‘disaster’ on PPE and what you called Hancock’s ‘totally f**king hopeless’ performance on testing in March?

“When will the SoS come to the House and correct his many false statements to MPs?”

HeraldScotland:

Dominic Cummings gave evidence to Westminster

Mr Cummings, who left Downing Street in November during a bitter power struggle in No 10, has targeted much of his criticism since leaving at the Health Secretary.

In a blog post exceeding 7,000 words, Mr Cummings also published another private message about the struggles to procure ventilators for Covid-19 patients.

“It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless,” a contact appearing to be Mr Johnson replied on March 27 last year.

In another message, on April 27 last year, the Prime Minister appeared to call the situation around personal protective equipment (PPE) “a disaster” and alluded to diverting some responsibilities to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

“I can’t think of anything except taking Hancock off and putting Gove on,” Mr Johnson apparently added.

The messages are Mr Cummings’s first attempt to publish supporting evidence since his select committee appearance where he accused the Health Secretary of lying, failing on care homes and “criminal, disgraceful behaviour” on testing.

Mr Hancock has denied the Brexit campaigner’s allegations and said last week it was “telling” that he was yet to provide the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee with written evidence.

HeraldScotland:

Matt Hancock 

When he appeared before the same committee last week, Mr Hancock said he had seen no evidence to suggest any medics died because of a lack of PPE.

But Mr Cummings said in his blog post that the Health Secretary sought to blame NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Cabinet Office for a “PPE disaster” in April last year.

Mr Cummings alleged: “The lack of PPE killed NHS and care home staff in March-May.”

He said the initial post shows that “No10/Hancock have repeatedly lied about the failures last year” and accused them of now trying to “rewrite history”.

Mr Cummings accused the Prime Minister of now publicly supporting the “fiction” that he was in agreement with the Health Secretary throughout the pandemic.

But his former chief aide says that the “hopeless” messages show otherwise, as do his moves to hand responsibility for vaccines to Dame Kate Bingham, testing to Baroness Harding, and PPE to Lord Deighton.

The former aide published the details on Substack, a platform that allows people to charge for newsletters. He has said he plans to charge subscribers for insider information on subjects other than the pandemic.