NHS leader Sir Simon Stevens has failed to substantiate he has self assurance in Matt Hancock.
Requested again and again if, having labored along the well being secretary right through the pandemic, he has self assurance in his skill, Sir Simon refused to offer Mr Hancock his beef up.
Pressed on whether or not the well being secretary is hopeless, the NHS boss smirks after a clumsy pause and fails to respond to.
“I imply, that could be a political query,” he added.
It comes an afternoon after Dominic Cummings printed expletive-laden WhatsApp messages, allegedly from Boris Johnson, wherein the PM seems to name Mr Hancock “hopeless”.
The PM’s former senior aide printed the messages as a part of a 7,000-word blogpost which seems to incorporate a chain of claims about Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock, together with that the top minister thought to be doing away with accountability for PPE from the well being secretary.
In a single alternate, which Mr Cummings stated used to be a part of late-night messages on 26 March 2020, he and Mr Johnson seem to be discussing movements from “MH” in boosting the United Kingdom’s COVID trying out capability.
The screenshot displays a answer from the top minister declaring: “Completely f****** hopeless”.
At a foyer briefing on Wednesday, Downing Side road didn’t deny the messages had been unique, however confident newshounds that the PM has complete self assurance within the well being secretary.
“It’s not that i am making plans to interact with each and every allegation put ahead, the top minister has labored very intently with the well being secretary right through and can proceed to take action,” the spokesman stated.
Requested if there have been safety considerations about Mr Cummings’s disclosure of messages, the spokesman added: “I do not plan to get into particular person circumstances, there are regulations printed for former advisers to watch.”
As he left the Division of Well being for the Area of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Hancock used to be requested if he believed himself to be “hopeless”.
“I don’t believe so,” he answered.
Pressed once more at the topic on Thursday, the well being secretary stated: “I am not going to get in to that.”
But if the textual content messages had been put to Sir Simon on Thursday, he may just no longer say that he had complete religion within the well being secretary.
Sir Simon is because of step down as head of NHS England on the finish of July after having overseen the COVID vaccination rollout to adults.
The PM has in the past praised Sir Simon for main the NHS with “nice difference” and he’s because of change into a peer within the Area of Lords following his departure.
However there has no longer at all times been such an amicable dating between Sir Simon and Mr Johnson, who attended Oxford College in combination, with tensions happening between ministers and most sensible well being officers right through the pandemic.
There have been considerations previous within the 12 months that the NHS would no longer be capable to effectively roll out the vaccination programme.
However the ones sceptical have since been confirmed fallacious, with Mr Hancock saying on Thursday that everywhere 18s will be capable to soak up the be offering of a jab.
Conceivable successors to Sir Simon come with Conservative peer and former head of the federal government’s Check and Hint programme Baroness Dido Harding.
Baroness Harding, who’s the spouse of Tory MP John Penrose, officially entered the working to change into the highest boss of England’s healthcare machine on Thursday.