att Hancock rejected recommendation to present coronavirus assessments to all residents going into English care houses, an investigation primarily based on a leaked trove of greater than 100,000 WhatsApps alleges.
The MP denied the “distorted account” with a spokesman alleging the messages leaked by journalist Isabel Oakeshott after she labored on his Pandemic Diaries memoir have been “spun to suit an anti-lockdown agenda”.
The Telegraph’s investigation claims chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty informed the then well being secretary in April 2020 there needs to be testing for “all going into care houses”.
However the messages counsel Mr Hancock rejected the steerage, telling an aide the transfer simply “muddies the waters”, and launched obligatory testing for these coming from hospitals.
Mr Hancock expressed considerations that increasing care residence testing may “get in the best way” of the goal of 100,000 day by day coronavirus assessments he was determined to hit, the investigation stated.
Mr Hancock was stated to be “contemplating all choices” in response to the leak, with a supply near him telling the PA information company: “She’s damaged a authorized NDA (non-disclosure settlement). Her behaviour is outrageous.”
The “lockdown information” investigation additionally accommodates:
– Claims that officers couriered Jacob Rees-Mogg a Covid take a look at for considered one of his youngsters whereas there was a scarcity.
– Mr Hancock telling former chancellor George Osborne, then editor of the Night Customary, “I WANT TO HIT MY TARGET!” as he pushed for beneficial front-page protection.
Ms Oakeshott, who has described lockdowns as an “unmitigated catastrophe”, stated she was releasing the messages as a result of it will take “a few years” earlier than the tip of the official Covid inquiry, which she claimed might be a “colossal whitewash”.
“That’s why I’ve determined to launch this sensational cache of personal communications – as a result of we completely can’t wait any longer for solutions,” she stated.
In a one message, Mr Hancock stated Sir Chris had completed a overview and advisable “testing of all going into care houses, and segregation while awaiting outcome”.
Mr Hancock described it as “clearly constructive step”.
Nevertheless, the investigation stated he later responded to an aide: “Inform me if I’m incorrect however I might fairly depart it out and simply commit to check & isolate ALL going into care from hospital. I don’t assume the neighborhood dedication provides something and it muddies the waters.”
The spokesman for Mr Hancock stated “the Telegraph story is incorrect”, arguing that “as a substitute of spinning and leaks we’d like the total, complete inquiry”.
“It’s outrageous that this distorted account of the pandemic is being pushed with partial leaks, spun to suit an anti-lockdown agenda, which might have value tons of of hundreds of lives if adopted. What the messages do present is lots of people working onerous to avoid wasting lives,” the spokesman stated.
“The story spun on care houses is totally incorrect. What the messages present is that Mr Hancock pushed for testing of these going into care houses when that testing was accessible.
“The complete paperwork have already all been made accessible to the inquiry, which is the correct place for an goal evaluation, so true classes will be realized.”
In September 2020, throughout a extreme backlog in testing, messages counsel an adviser to Mr Hancock helped get a take a look at despatched to senior Conservative Mr Rees-Mogg’s residence.
The aide messaged Mr Hancock to say the lab had “misplaced” the unique take a look at for one of many then Commons chief’s youngsters, “so we’ve received a courier going to their household residence tonight”.
He added: “Jacob’s spad (particular adviser) is conscious and has helped line all of it up, however you may wish to textual content Jacob.”
Commenting on the declare, Liberal Democrat deputy chief Daisy Cooper stated: “That is but extra proof that it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and one other for everybody else.
“The Covid inquiry should look into stories Conservative ministers have been in a position to get precedence entry to assessments at a time of nationwide scarcity.”
As he battled to satisfy his personal goal of 100,000 coronavirus assessments per day, the investigation exhibits Mr Hancock texted his former boss Mr Osborne to “name in a favour”.
Mr Hancock stated he has hundreds of spare testing slots which is “obvs excellent news about unfold of virus” however “onerous for my goal” as he requested for entrance web page protection.
Mr Osborne responded: “Sure – in fact – all it is advisable to do tomorrow is give some unique phrases to the Customary and I’ll inform the workforce to splash it.”
The then well being secretary later added: “I WANT TO HIT MY TARGET!”