What time is Matt Hancock speaking today? When health secretary will respond to Dominic Cummings allegations

The Health Secretary will deliver a coronavirus update in the House of Commons on Thursday (27 May), followed by a trip to the Downing Street briefing room, where he will face questions from the media.

Despite having his reputation attacked by Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser, his update will more likely address the ongoing spread of the Indian variant within parts of the UK.

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The press conference arrives after Dominic Cummings described the health secretary as "completely incapable of doing the job" and said he "should have been fired" for lying.

He criticised Mr Hancock over PPE shortages and "stupid" testing targets.

A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: "We absolutely reject Mr Cummings' claims about the health secretary."

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said Mr Hancock and others had been "working round the clock to try to do the best they could for the country".

Mr Jenrick also said it was "sensible" for the independent inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic to begin in spring 2022, when the UK was out of the "response phase".

However, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said the inquiry should begin immediately, saying Mr Cummings' claims were "incredibly devastating to hear".

She added that Mr Hancock was facing serious allegations and must "justify how we ended up in these circumstances".

What time will Matt Hancock appear in the Commons?

The Health Secretary will appear in the House of Commons at around 10:30am.

Mr Hancock was called in to answer an urgent question tabled by Labour about the government’s handling of Covid.

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Mr Cummings' "very grave allegations" appeared to be "well-founded" and the health secretary would have to "give us an explanation" in order for the country to "maintain confidence in him".

What time is Matt Hancock’s press conference?

Matt Hancock is expected to start the press conference from the Downing Street briefing room at 5pm, joined by medical and scientific experts.

How can I watch the press conference live?

The press conference will be shown live on BBC News and Sky News.

You can watch BBC News online via BBC iPlayer and Sky News via its YouTube channel.

The press conference will be available with British Sign Language captioning via Downing Street’s YouTube page.

What to expect from the Health Secretary’s announcement?

Matt Hancock is expected to give an update on the spread of the more infectious Indian variant within parts of the UK.

The surge in cases in some parts of the country has seen fears that the final easing of lockdown restrictions may be pushed back beyond 21 June.

It is unlikely Mr Hancock will confirm whether the planned easing will go ahead, with a review expected next month.

The conference will be Mr Hancock’s first time answering questions since Dominic Cummings accused him of repeatedly lying and causing the deaths of “tens of thousands” through policy failings.