- Matt Hancock and Rishi Sunak slammed the ex-advisor in more leaked messages
- Dominic Cummings responded by adding jibes about him to his Twitter bio
By JAMES TAPSFIELD, POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE
Dominic Cummings mocked Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock today after leaked WhatsApps revealed brutal sniping at him over Covid.
The maverick former No10 chief added ‘nightmare psychotherapist’ to his Twitter bio as he ridiculed the backbiting.
The latest tranche of Mr Hancock’s messages disclosed to the Telegraph give an extraordinary insight into the ongoing feud between Mr Cummings and senior Tories.
One exchange between Mr Sunak – then Chancellor – and Mr Hancock came in May 2021, after Mr Cummings told a Parliamentary committee that thousands of people had died needlessly during the pandemic.
Mr Hancock wrote: ‘Of all the bonkersness about Dom’s circus, the one I enjoy most is that he’s doing this to secure his place at the heart of the future Sunak administration.’
Mr Sunak replied: ‘Ha! Ironic given I haven’t spoken to him since he left!’
The remarks were made on the day that Mr Cummings said that thousands of people died needlessly during the pandemic to an audience of MPs
These messages show Mr Hancock’s aide, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, lashing out at Mr Cummings, on the same day he described the Department of Health and Social Care as a ‘smoking ruin’
Matt Hancock and Rishi Sunak slammed the former Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings
Maverick former No10 chief Dominic Cummings added ‘nightmare psychotherapist’ to his Twitter bio as he ridiculed the backbiting
‘It’s just awful & a stark reminder of how hard governing was,’ Mr Hancock replied.
Mr Sunak said: ‘It was such a difficult time for all of us. A nightmare I hope we never ever have to repeat.’
Mr Hancock also jibed that Mr Cummings’ ‘insight is no better than his eyesight’ – a reference to the ex-adviser’s notorious claim that he broke lockdown rules to test his vision.
The messages also showed Mr Hancock’s former aide, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, giving a withering verdict on Mr Cummings on March 2021, when he had told a hearing with MPs that the Department of Health was a ‘smoking ruin’.
Mr Hancock messaged: ‘How would you deal with this Cummings c***?’
His adviser responded: ‘I was about to message. What a f***ing piece of s***. You went out and backed him over Barnard castle, and he responds by briefing against you relentlessly, in private and now in public. He’s a psychotherapist.’
He quickly corrects himself: ‘Psychopath.’
Dominic Cummings claimed Boris Johnson’s ‘disastrous’ handling of the pandemic had caused tens of thousands to die needlessly
In other exchanges, Mr Hancock expressed concern that Mr Sunak’s signature Eat Out to Help Out initiative was worsening the spread of Covid, dubbing it ‘eat out to help the virus get about’.
The state-backed scheme offered customers a 50 per cent discount, up to £10, on meals and soft drinks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays as businesses sought to recover from the pandemic.
He wrote: ‘Just want to let you know directly that we have had lots of feedback that Eat our to help out is causing problems in our jntervention [sic] areas. I’ve kept it out of the news but it’s serious.
‘So please please lets not allow the economic success of the scheme to lead to its extension.’
Mr Hancock also accused Mr Sunak of trying to ‘show ankle’ to the ‘hard right’ over his Covid-19 stance in another message.
In October 2020, he wrote: ‘What’s Rishi’s dilemma? Whether to stop the virus, or tilt at the party & show ankle to the hard right?’
Matt Hancock said the leaked WhatsApp messages are ‘highly intrusive’ and ‘completely inappropriate’
The exchanges were among more than 100,000 messages passed to the Telegraph by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott.
She was originally given the material by Mr Hancock while they were collaborating on his memoir of his time in government during the pandemic.
Mr Hancock has condemned the leak as a ‘massive betrayal’ designed to support an ‘anti-lockdown agenda’.
In a statement this week, Mr Hancock said that all the materials for his book have been made available to the official Covid-19 inquiry.
Ms Oakeshott has said the disclosures are in the public interest.
The paper also published messages showing Mr Hancock and his officials scrambling to save the health secretary’s career after footage emerged of his embrace with aide Gina Coladangelo.
A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: ‘There’s nothing new in these messages, and absolutely no public interest in publishing them given the independent inquiry has them all. It’s highly intrusive, completely inappropriate and has all been discussed endlessly before.’