“I heard this in the Prime Minister’s study” immediately after Mr Johnson made the second lockdown decision on October 31, he said.
Live updates as Dominic Cummings gives evidence on the government’s handling of the COVID pandemic
Mr Cummings told a select committee the PM said he regretted ordering the first lockdown, and when he ordered the second he said he didn’t want to make the same mistake again.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly refused using this phrase.
The former Downing Street adviser was asked about the language used in the fall of last year as the country headed for a second lockdown.
SNP Congresswoman Carol Monaghan asked her, “Did you hear [the Prime Minister] to say “that the bodies pile up by the thousands” or “that only kills children of eighty years”? “
Mr. Cummings replied, “There have been a few different versions… of these stories that have struck everywhere.
“There was a version of it in The Sunday Times that wasn’t accurate. But the version reported by the BBC was correct. “
The BBC reported in April this year that Mr Johnson said he would rather see ‘bodies pile up’ rather than put the country in a third lockdown – as the UK was closed for the second time .
Ms Monaghan asked if Mr Cummings had heard the remarks, to which he replied: “I heard that in the Prime Minister’s study. “
Mr. Cummings had said earlier: “There is a big misconception that people have this, because [COVID] almost killed [Mr Johnson], therefore, he had to take it seriously.
“But actually after the first lock he was of the opinion that he was angry with me and the others over what he saw as basically pushing him into the first lock.
“His argument after this happened was literally, quote, ‘I should have been the mayor of Jaws and kept the beaches open’. This is what he has said over and over again. “
Mr Cummings was very open in his testimony – particularly with regard to Mr Johnson.
Asked what was happening in February 2020, before the first lockdown, the former adviser said the prime minister was distracted.
« [The prime minister] was in the process of finalizing his divorce, his girlfriend wanted to announce her pregnancy, her engagement and her finances and all that kind of stuff… he certainly had a very difficult period in mid-February in his private life, that’s for sure.