Lockdown Files Highlight Matt Hancock’s Pandemic Failures mdi-fullscreen

SW1 has spiralled into a frenzy overnight, as details from The Telegraph’s Lockdown Files continue to emerge. The investigation paints a poor picture of Matt Hancock’s pandemic handling, and was based on thousands of his WhatsApp messages, leaked to The Telegraph by Isabel Oakeshott. The headline finding is that in April 2020, Matt Hancock ignored the advice of Chris Witty to test all people entering care homes – saying it “muddies the waters”. It hardly seems like a “protective ring” around care homes…

The files also paint the picture of a Health Secretary more focussed on meeting his flagship testing target than securing the best outcomes. To quote the man himself, “I WANT TO MEET MY TARGET”. In addition to fudging the definition of tests, so that 28,000 extra could be counted before they were even delivered, Matt was focussed on securing publicity to boost demand. Naturally, this meant giving an exclusive to his mate and former boss in exchange for a front-page splash.

Matt and George’s chummy mutual media back-scratching didn’t end there. Matt initially had a go at George for a media round in which he criticised the government’s response to testing – which Osborne defended on the basis he was trying to “spread responsibility”.

The files also reveal that Hancock and Jacob Rees-Mogg enlisted Special Advisers to get a test couriered to Jacob’s child – at a time of national shortages. Matt’s positive outlook was also on show as he went further than minister Helen Whately, who said her 100-mile round trip for a test showed the system worked for some, by saying it was working “for MOST!”. The British public will no doubt be pleased to see their Health Ministers were focussing on the important things during a global health crisis. Such important issues as “ridiculous” Kay Burley “asking the same nonsensical Q again and again”…

Of course, Hancock’s camp isn’t happy with the revelations. They told Politico’s Playbook:

“Having not been approached in advance by the Telegraph, we have reviewed the messages overnight. The Telegraph intentionally excluded reference to a meeting with the testing team from the WhatsApp. This is critical, because Matt was supportive of Chris Whitty’s advice, held a meeting on its deliverability, told it wasn’t deliverable, and insisted on testing all those who came from hospitals. The Telegraph have been informed that their headline is wrong”.

Sources close to him add Oakeshott broke an NDA and Matt is “considering all options”…

mdi-tag-outline Coronavirus Lockdown Files
mdi-account-multiple-outline George Osborne Helen Whately Matt Hancock
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