'The families who lost loved ones have been badly let down' - Sheffield MPs respond to Dominic Cummings damning testimony

Sheffield MPs reacted to Dominic Cummings’ damning testimony in which he said tens of thousands died needlessly as a result of government mistakes in the handling of Covid-19.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 4:09 pm

Dominic Cummings former top aide to prime minister Boris Johnson, gave devastating evidence in a seven-hour session before MPs in Westminster yesterday.

He said the PM was “unfit for the job” and claimed he ignored scientific advice and wrongly delayed lockdowns. Mr Cummings also claimed Matt Hancock, health secretary, should have been fired for “at least 15 to 20 things, including lying to everybody on multiple occasions” – which Hancock denied.

He said those on the front line of the pandemic were like “lions” being “led by donkeys” and painted a picture of incompetence, chaos, policy failure, dithering and a government that had no useful plan for handling the pandemic.

Louise Haigh MP.

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said: “Nobody has denied that with hindsight we would have done some things differently, but this was an unprecedented time of national emergency. The Government was following the best scientific advice it had available at the time and did what was necessary to respond to a situation nobody had faced before. A full public inquiry will be the right place to reflect on what happened, and help us to learn the lessons for the future, but right now we must focus on using our vaccination programme to protect as many people as possible and support our post-pandemic recovery.”

Louise Haigh, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, said: “The testimony of Dominic Cummings came as little surprise to any of us that have watched in horror over the last year as the government repeatedly delayed vital decisions which led to the UK having the highest death toll in Europe. I repeatedly called out the government on its failure to act to protect residents of care homes and we saw the devastating consequences. It is clear to the country and the families who lost loved ones that we have been badly let down by this Government, this prime minister, and this health secretary. Cummings allegations raise serious questions about the fitness to govern of Boris Johnson and his entire top team.”

Mirian Cates MP.