PRIOR to the UK Government changing tactic to combat the coronavirus, Dominic Cummings allegedly told a private event that pensioners dying as a result of the strategy to protect the economy was "too bad".

As reported in The Sunday Times, Cummings made the comments at the end of Februrary, while suggesting that allowing 60%-80% of the population to become infected was the right approach.

Cummings outlined the UK Government's position which, according to those present, was “herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad”.

It wasn't until weeks later that the senior aide to Boris Johnson realised that the path he had set would lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

One minister said: “Seeing what was happening in Italy was the galvanising force across government.”

The late-stage change of mind was supposedly branded as the “Domoscene conversion”.

A senior Tory also told The Sunday Times that “He’s gone from ‘herd immunity and let the old people die’, to ‘let’s shut down the country and the economy.’”

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “This is a highly defamatory fabrication which was not put to No10 by the Sunday Times before publication. The article also includes a series of apparent quotes from meetings which are invented.”

The UK Government was warned about the impact of Covid-19 in January.