Matt Hancock feared being labelled ‘racist’ over elevating considerations that Covid was spreading quicker amongst ‘non-compliant’ communities, new leaked messages reveal.
WhatsApp exchanges from August 2020 present Nadine Dorries, a key determine on the Department of Health on the time, warn her boss Mr Hancock to not lockdown ‘our voters’ due to the ‘behaviour of non compliant communities’.
She later advised there might be ‘race riots’ if he selected to lockdown the ‘white working-class’ space of Colne in Lancashire whereas the virus was shortly spreading within the neighbouring city of Nelson.
The messages, the most recent to be revealed by The Daily Telegraph, additionally reveal one other Conservative MP instructed then prime minister, Boris Johnson, that native lockdown restrictions have been fuelling ‘race relation points’ in his constituency.
Texts unearthed at the moment reveal Mr Hancock, then well being secretary instructed Ms Dorries on August 20, 2020: ‘I do not need to be known as a racist however we have got to call it’.
New leaked WhatsApp messages revealed at the moment by The Daily Telegraph reveal Matt Hancock, then well being secretary instructed Ms Dorries on August 20, 2020: ‘I do not need to be known as a racist however we have got to call it’
WhatsApp exchanges from August 2020 present Nadine Dorries, a key determine on the Department of Health on the time, warn her boss Matt Hancock to not lockdown ‘our voters’ due to the ‘behaviour of non compliant communities’
Ms Dorries, who on the time served as minister for affected person security, suicide prevention and psychological well being, responded: ‘We cannot put entire cities and villages with extraordinarily low R charges in lockdown (our voters) and deprive these individuals of labor and household bcse of the behaviour of non compliant communities.’
MailOnline has not seen or independently verified the WhatsApp messages, leaked to The Daily Telegraph by Isabel Oakeshott, the journalist who helped ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock write his guide Pandemic Diaries.
The R charge — which epidemiologists use measure a illness’s potential to unfold – is, in essence, the variety of folks that one contaminated particular person will move on a virus to, on common.
At the time the R charge throughout England was believed to be between 0.9 and 1.0 in response to information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
On August 19, check and hint information confirmed a 27 per cent leap within the variety of constructive Covid instances, regardless of the variety of individuals examined decreasing barely.
Local lockdowns and measures have been in place throughout numerous cities to focus on areas with the next R charge, after the nationwide lockdown ended on July 4.
On Aug 20, ministers have been contemplating contemporary interventions in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn in Lancashire because the epidemiological information confirmed that instances have been getting uncontrolled in sure areas.
Later that day, in a message to Ms Dorries, Mr Hancock mentioned he had spoken to Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, West Yorkshire concerning native lockdowns.
‘I instructed him that given he is acquired a veto, it is really excellent for him,’ Mr Hancock instructed Ms Dorries.
‘I’m chatting with Andrew Stephenson tonight concerning Pendle’, she responded.
She added: ‘Remember the Burnley race riots? I used to be working as Oliver Letwin’s Spad [special advisor] on the time. Andrew very involved at his LA [local authority] CEOs stance that any restrictions needs to be one measurement matches all, throughout the constituency.
‘The city ward of Colne, 18 pubs, white working class could be like a tinder field if it is pubs closed bcse of non compliance and an infection charges in Nelson, 2 pubs, Pakistani neighborhood subsequent door.’
On August 21, the Government then unveiled new Covid steerage to return into pressure on August 22, tightening restrictions on households assembly and attendances at weddings and funerals, in some elements of east Lancashire.
Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, had additionally reached out to then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, earlier in August to forestall lockdown restrictions from together with Pendle, leaked WhatsApp messages present
Those in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn have been instructed to not socialise with anybody outdoors their family and to not use public transport until it was important.
Colne was not included in these new measures.
Announcing the restrictions, Mr Hancock mentioned on the time: ‘Working with native leaders we agreed additional motion in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn. It is significant that everybody in these areas observe the recommendation of their councils, and abide by their native guidelines rigorously.’
The motion was ‘as focused as doable, with the utmost doable native consensus’, he added.
It got here as Mr Davies had reached out to then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, earlier in August to forestall lockdown restrictions from together with Pendle, leaked WhatsApp messages present.
In a message shared with Mr Hancock by Mr Johnson, the MP for Shipley wrote: ‘I’m determined to talk to you concerning the choice of the govt. to incorporate my constituency within the native lockdown on Bradford – although there are barely any instances in my constituency.
‘This is inflicting an enormous subject and is fuelling big race relations points. This must be resolved ASAP.
‘I’d be very grateful in the event you might discover the time to debate with me. This is poisonous regionally.’
Pendle had been positioned beneath restrictions alongside swathes of the north of England together with Bradford and Greater Manchester on July 30, the night earlier than Eid.
But additional texts leaked to The Daily Telegraph additionally present Dido Harding, who led the Government’s check and hint programme, warn Mr Hancock of an increase in infections among the many ‘identical communities’ who could be celebrating Eid, ten days earlier.
She wrote: ‘I’m actually anxious about Eid. The geographic unfold is all in the identical communities.’
KEY CLAIMS OF THE LOCKDOWN FILES INVESTIGATION
A contemporary cache of 100,000 textual content and WhatsApp messages leaked to the Daily Telegraph by the ex-journalist who ghost-wrote Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries claimed:
- Matt Hancock rejected the Chief Medical Officer’s name to check all residents going into English care properties for Covid
- A minister in Mr Hancock’s division mentioned restrictions on guests to care properties have been ‘inhumane’, however residents remained remoted many months on
- Mr Hancock’s adviser organized for a private check to be couriered for Jacob Rees-Mogg’s baby at a time of nationwide scarcity
- Mr Hancock instructed former chancellor George Osborne, then editor of the Evening Standard, ‘I WANT TO HIT MY TARGET!’ as he pushed for beneficial front-page protection
- Mr Hancock allegedly met his 100,000-tests-a-day goal by counting kits that have been despatched earlier than the deadline however may by no means be processed
- Social care minister Helen Whately instructed Mr Hancock the testing system was ‘undoubtedly working’ after she managed to safe a check ‘simply’ 50 miles from the place she lived.
- Mr Osborne warned Mr Hancock that ‘nobody thinks testing goes effectively’ in late 2020
- The then prime minister, Boris Johnson, revealed he was going ‘quietly crackers’ concerning the UK’s scarcity of check kits
- Face masks have been launched in class hallways and communal areas after the PM was instructed it might keep away from an ‘argument’ with Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon
- Matt Hancock took ‘rearguard’ motion to shut colleges after former schooling secretary Sir Gavin Williamson persuaded the PM to maintain them open in January 2021
- Sir Gavin mentioned academics have been in search of an ‘excuse’ to not work in the course of the pandemic
- Ministers mentioned there was ‘no sturdy rationale’ for imposing the ‘rule of six’ on kids, however did it anyway
- Pupils with false constructive outcomes on a lateral circulate check needed to isolate at residence for ten days, even after they examined damaging on a PCR, to keep away from ‘unpicking’ the coverage
- The PM feared that he ‘blinked too quickly’ in plunging the UK right into a second Covid lockdown after being warned that gloomy modelling which bounced him into the transfer was ‘very flawed’
- Mr Johnson was desirous to ease curbs on retail, hospitality and gatherings in June 2020 however was instructed he was ‘too far forward of public opinion’
- Mr Hancock and prime civil servant Simon Case joked about travellers ‘locked up’ in quarantine lodges throughout Covid lockdown
- The minister mentioned the Government ought to ‘get heavy with the police’ to assist crack down on Covid lockdown rulebreakers
- Mr Hancock’s workforce requested if they may ‘lock up’ Nigel Farage after he posted a video of himself in a pub after they suspected he was in breach of guidelines
- The former Health Secretary hoped the pandemic would ‘propel’ his profession ‘into the following league’ and mentioned he thought he ‘appeared nice’ in an image in a MailOnline article
- Mr Hancock referred to Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme as ‘eat out to assist the virus get about’ and lobbied officers to not prolong the scheme
- Mr Hancock clashed with the Treasury, calling Steve Barclay, now the Health Secretary, a ‘w***er’ and accused Mr Sunak of ‘displaying ankle to the laborious proper’ by warning of a second nationwide lockdown
- In the hours after his affair with married aide Gina Coladangelo grew to become public, he mentioned the worst they might be accused of was kissing ‘earlier than they legalised hugs’
- Ministers sought to take away NHS England boss Lord Stevens simply says after Covid was first detected, saying it might be a ‘large enchancment’
- Mr Hancock plotted to have ‘worse than ineffective’ and ‘full loudmouth’ Sir Jeremy Farrar, who’s now the WHO’s prime scientist, sacked from SAGE
- Mr Hancock deliberate when to ‘deploy’ the information of a brand new Covid variant to ‘frighten the pants off’ the general public in order that they complied with lockdown guidelines
- The former Health Secretary branded the Government’s vaccine tsar Dame Kate Bingham ‘completely unreliable’ and ‘wacky’ after she mentioned solely the weak wanted to be vaccinated in opposition to Covid
- Mr Hancock wished to be the face of the vaccine rollout, planning on doing media rounds and ‘personal’ the information of the Covid jabs
- Mr Hancock tried to cover that he’d take Ms Coladangelo to a dinner with the US well being secretary
- Sir Chris suggested ministers to not implement the intercourse ban in the course of the pandemic
- Sir Chris instructed ministers Covid jabs could not be fast-tracked in the course of the early days of the pandemic as a result of the virus wasn’t lethal sufficient
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