Matt Hancock has finally broken his silence in response to the Telegraph’s Lockdown Files, accusing Isabel Oakeshott of a “massive betrayal” and claiming there is “absolutely no public interest case for this huge breach“:
“I am hugely disappointed and sad at the massive betrayal and breach of trust by Isabel Oakshott. I am also sorry for the impact on the very many people — political colleagues, civil servants and friends – who worked hard with me to get through the pandemic and save lives.
“There is absolutely no public interest case for this huge breach. All the materials for the book have already been made available to the Inquiry, which is the right, and only, place for everything to be considered properly and the right lessons to be learned. As we have seen, releasing them in this way gives a partial, biased account to suit an anti-lockdown agenda.
“Isabel and I had worked closely together for more than a year on my book, based on legal confidentiality and a process approved by the Cabinet Office. Isabel repeatedly reiterated the importance of trust throughout, and then broke that trust.
“Last night, I was accused of sending menacing messages to Isabel. This is also wrong. When I heard confused rumours of a publication late on Tuesday night, I called and messaged Isabel to ask her if she had ‘any clues’ about it, and got no response. When I then saw what she’d done, I messaged to say it was ‘a big mistake’. Nothing more.
“I will not be commenting further on any other stories or false allegations that Isabel will make. I will respond to the substance in the appropriate place, at the inquiry, so that we can properly learn all the lessons based on a full and objective understanding of what happened in the pandemic, and why.”
No love lost…
Here is former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, chairwoman of The Jo Cox Foundation, appearing on Politics Live today ahead of the launch of her own foundation’s Civility Commission. Surely the day to lead by example…
Not so much. Instead, Smith told her fellow panellist Isabel Oakeshott to “shut up” in a row over Brexit, with Jo Coburn herself forced to return some civility to the debate, adding: “Let’s not descend into insults.” Eventually, Smith apologised:
I apologised to Isabel because I was wrong to say shut up.— Jacqui Smith (@Jacqui_Smith1) February 28, 2023
“I was wrong to say shut up…” Jacqui finally apologised.
Murdoch’s fledging news channel TalkTV have announced Isabel Oakeshott will be joining the launch lineup as International Editor, returning to the News UK fold alongside Tom Newton Dunn for the April 25th airdate. Oakeshott only joined GB News back in September, now she’s already jumped ship…
Announcing the move today, Oakeshott said:
“I’m delighted to be returning to News UK, which is both a bastion of free speech and home to a wealth of world-class journalistic talent. I’m excited to be joining Tom’s show as a regular commentator, as it seeks to redefine broadcast news and current affairs for contemporary audiences. And in my new role as International Editor, I look forward to reporting on the ground, on the biggest global news stories across the globe.”
Only 17 days to go…
Isabel Oakeshott is joining GB News to host a new weekly political programme on Fridays, the channel announced today. The Friday edition of The Briefing: PM is the fourth new show arriving as part of the upcoming relaunch, alongside others from Tom Harwood, Gloria De Piero, and Darren McCaffrey. The relaunch is set for later this month. A packed lineup now, though there’s still one notable absence at the top…
In tonight’s LIVE with LITTLEWOOD BUDGET SPECIAL
Joining host MARK LITTLEWOOD will be former leader of the Liberal Democrats SIR VINCE CABLE; Commentator and journalist ISABEL OAKESHOTT; EMMA JONES CBE, the founder of Enterprise Nation; political journalist BENEDICT SPENCE and, from the University of Buckingham PROFESSOR PHILIP BOOTH.
Join us for 60 minutes of jam-packed discussion and debate.
LIVE – TONIGHT at 6PM – here or on YouTube.
Has the Chancellor hit the back of the net? Or are his attempts to revitalise the UK economy wide of the mark?
Join our LIVE WITH LITTLEWOOD cast this evening for a free-rolling debate on Rishi Sunak’s fiscal statement…from stamp duty to self-insulation.
Joining host Mark Littlewood will be journalist and commentator Isabel Oakeshott, the Academy of Ideas’ Claire Fox and renowned economist Andrew Lilico.
They’ll be joined by the Director of Big Brother Watch Silkie Carlo, Matthew Lesh, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Duncan Simpson, Research Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, author and writer Jamie Whyte and the IEA’s Kristian Niemietz.
Along the way they’ll be discussing cancel culture, the West’s post-pandemic relationship with China and much, much more.
Be sure to join the debate – LIVE at 6 pm – here or on YouTube.