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No ‘sense of urgency’ at start of pandemic as key people were off skiing

26th May 21 10:35 am

Dominic Cummings who is the Prime Minister’s former chief adviser has appeared before the Parliamentary Committee today and has delivered damning insights into what happened within Whitehall at the start of the Pandemic.

Cummings told the Committee this morning that there was “no sense of urgency” when the pandemic started as Boris was off on holiday and many Ministers went Skiing.

Cummings told MPs on live TV, “The government itself and Number 10 was not operating on a war footing in February on this in any way, shape or form.

“Lots of people were literally skiing in the middle of February. It wasn’t until the last week of February that there was really any sort of sense of urgency.”

He also claimed that the government failed to “hit the panic button” early as the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared a glabal emergency.

Cummings added, “It’s obvious the western world, including Britain, completely failed to see the smoke and to hear the alarm bells in January.

“There’s no doubt about it.”

He continued and told MPs, “We were told in Number 10 at the time that this is literally top of the risk register, this has been planned and there’s been exercises on this over and over again, everyone knows what to do.

“And it’s sort of tragic in a way, that someone who wrote so often about running red teams and not trusting things and not digging into things, whilst I was running red teams about lots of other things in government at this time, I didn’t do it on this.

“If I had said at the end of January, we’re going to take a Saturday and I want all of these documents put on the table and I want it all gone through and I want outside experts to look at it all, then we’d have figured out much, much earlier that all the claims about brilliant preparations and how everything was in order were basically completely hollow, but we didn’t figure this out until the back end of February.”

The former chief advisor added, “The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials and senior advisers, like me, fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its Government in a crisis like this.

“When the public needed us most, the government failed.

“And I’d like to say to all the families of those who died unnecessarily how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made and for my own mistakes.”

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