Wednesday evening UK news briefing: PM 'unfit for the job', says Dominic Cummings

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

It was billed as a blockbuster four-hour evidence session. In the end, it lasted for almost double that time - and claims by Dominic Cummings came thick and fast.

The Prime Minister's former chief adviser said tens of thousands of people died "unnecessarily" because of the Government's failings over Covid and that Boris Johnson is "unfit for the job".

Painting a picture of incompetence, Mr Cummings said Mr Johnson first dismissed the pandemic as a "scare story", then had to be persuaded to lock down in March; and insisted that the PM did say he would rather see "bodies pile high" than announce a third lockdown.

Mr Cummings was particularly scathing about Health Secretary Matt Hancock, calling him a "liar" and saying he should have been sacked for his "criminal" behaviour.

Read all the key allegations and our assessment of the winners and losers. On a dramatic day in Westminster, Mr Cummings also claimed that:

It was a damning portrayal of a government in chaos. Rosa Prince says Mr Cummings exposed a Westminster shambles like The Thick Of It - only without the laughs.

Ross Clark argues his contempt for democracy was on display for all to see. Alexandra Phillips believes Mr Cummings is undermined by his own stained character.

And your fellow Telegraph readers have had their say on the "bitter and woeful shell of a man".

Watch the highlights from the committee hearing in the video below.

M&S to close 30 stores after clothing sales plunge

Marks and Spencer will shut 30 stores and switch others to food-only shops after a hit to clothing demand from Covid lockdowns pushed it to its first annual loss in 94 years. Graphs show how pre-tax losses of £209.4m follow years of falling profits. Chief City Commentator Ben Marlow argues M&S's clothing arm is in the last chance saloon. But Fashion Editor Tamara Abraham picks four things it is getting right.

Prince Harry to 'go deeper' on royal family stories

The Duke of Sussex is to reunite with Oprah Winfrey to "go deeper" into the stories explored in their Apple TV show. In the programme broadcast last week, Prince Harry lambasted the parenting skills of his father and accused the royal family of "total neglect". The pair will now take part in a "town hall" discussion on Friday. Meanwhile, see pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge racing in land yachts today when they returned to St Andrews 20 years after meeting in the university town.

At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

Around the world: Defiance over Belarus plane arrests

Alexander Lukashenko is defiant about forcing a Ryanair flight to land in Minsk. In his first comments since the arrest of exiled journalist Roman Protasevich, the Belarusian president said "ill-wishers" are "strangling us". Read the latest from Russia Correspondent Nataliya Vasilyeva.

Wednesday long-read: 'It is a scary time to be a Jew on campus'

This month's conflict in Gaza has highlighted a toxic strain of anti-Semitism at UK universities, students tell Alice Hall. Read the full article.

Students at Royal Holloway, which has seen incidences of anti-Semitic abuse rise since fighting broke out between Israel and Palestine earlier this month - Alamy
Students at Royal Holloway, which has seen incidences of anti-Semitic abuse rise since fighting broke out between Israel and Palestine earlier this month - Alamy

Comment and analysis

Editor's choice

  1. The light side | At 88, Joan Collins' drastic new hair colour is her most flattering look yet

  2. Simple day-to-day regime | The 20-minute strength plan every midlifer should follow

  3. Interiors spruce-up | Eight labels that will make your home as stylish as your wardrobe

Business and money briefing

Prime Time | Amazon confirmed it is buying the film studio behind the James Bond franchise for £6billion, as the US tech giant lunges for the lead in the increasingly competitive streaming wars. The acquisition of MGM will give the firm a huge library of films and TV shows, creating a challenge for streaming rivals Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max.

Sport briefing

Europa League final | Thousands of fans have descended on Gdansk as Man United supporters enjoy their first away day since the pandemic. Their side take on Villarreal this evening. Follow live updates. Reporting from the Polish seaport, Mike McGrath says a first trophy for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be like Sir Alex Ferguson winning the FA Cup.

Three things for tonight

And finally... for this evening's downtime

'Once the most progressive show on TV' | The treatment of feminism or gay issues in Friends might seem dated today, but in 1994 it was ahead of its time. Tom Fordy explains what the easily offended do not get about the beloved sitcom.

If you want to receive twice-daily briefings like this by email, sign up to the Front Page newsletter here. For two-minute audio updates, try The Briefing - on podcasts, smart speakers and WhatsApp.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting