Dominic Cummings has said Boris Johnson wanted to be injected with coronavirus as he thought the outbreak of the disease was a "scare story".
The prime minister's former chief adviser, giving long-awaited evidence to the House of Commons science and technology committee on Wednesday, said Johnson was not taking COVID-19 seriously in February last year – one month before the first lockdown and the deaths of thousands of people.
Cummings told MPs that Johnson said he wanted England's chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, to inject him with COVID on live TV.
Cummings, who left Downing Street in November last year after a fallout with Johnson, said: "In terms of the prime minister… in February the prime minister regarded this as just a scare story. He described it as the new swine flu.