Sajid Javid will be “awful for the NHS” as the Government’s new Health Secretary, Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings has predicted in an angry tweet sent following Matt Hancock’s resignation.
The announcement that ex-chancellor and home secretary Mr Javid had been appointed to the health brief was made tonight by Downing Street – after Mr Hancock stepped down having faced mounting pressure to quit over video footage of him kissing an aide in his ministerial office in a breach of coronavirus restrictions.
Images and video showed Mr Hancock in an embrace with aide Gina Coladangelo last month.
Tonight Dominic Cummings claimed on Twitter that Carrie Johnson, the Prime Minister’s wife, had played a part in choosing Mr Javid, writing: “So Carrie appoints Saj!”
“Saj = bog standard = chasing headlines + failing = awful for NHS. Need #RegimeChange,” he added.
In May, Mr Cummings used his lengthy appearance in front of the Commons Health and Social Care and Science and Technology Committees to allege that the Health Secretary had lied to the Prime Minister over a promise to test new arrivals into care homes at the outset of the pandemic.
He said he recommended to Mr Johnson on a host of occasions that the former culture secretary should be sacked due to his handling of the crisis. Mr Hancock denied the care home allegations but admitted that there were not enough tests available in spring 2020 to test everyone entering residential homes.
Mr Cummings caused public outrage when he drove from London to County Durham with his wife and son during the first lockdown.
In a breach of restrictions, Mr Cummings travelled 250 miles to his parents’ property in Durham, after his wife developed coronavirus-related symptoms.
Despite calls for him to resign over the journey – which included a trip to local beauty spot Barnard Castle to check the quality of his eyesight – Mr Cummings was backed by the Prime Minister.
Mr Cummings defended his actions in a press conference in the Downing Street rose garden, saying he believed he behaved “reasonably” and did not regret his actions.
Six months later, on November 13, he was seen carrying boxes out of Downing Street as he left his job.
In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Hancock said: “The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis.
“I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need to be with my children at this time.”