Matt Hancock Condemns WhatsApp Messages Leak as a 'Massive Breach of Trust'

Matt Hancock Condemns WhatsApp Messages Leak as a ‘Massive Breach of Trust’

Isabel Oakeshott felt she had no choice but to break her non-disclosure agreement and release private WhatsApp messages from former Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s phone to the Daily Telegraph.

She explained that her motivation was not financial gain, but a desire to shed light on the “catastrophic decisions” that impacted millions of people during the pandemic.

The messages revealed that Hancock rejected advice to test all residents going into English care homes for coronavirus at the start of the pandemic, despite Chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty’s recommendation that there should be testing for ‘all going into care homes’.

The messages also suggested that former education secretary Sir Gavin Williamson said some schools wanted to close during the pandemic so staff would have an ‘excuse’ not to work.

Hancock responded by calling Oakeshott’s actions a “massive betrayal and breach of trust,” and denied that there was any public interest in the revelations.

However, Oakeshott argued that there was a clear public interest, and accused Hancock of sending her an unpleasant message at 1:20 am.

While Hancock said he was “hugely disappointed” and sorry for the impact on his colleagues, he maintained that the only appropriate place for the materials to be considered was the inquiry.

He also denied accusations of sending menacing messages to Oakeshott, and said he would not be commenting further on any other false allegations.

The leak of these private messages highlights the ongoing tension between privacy and transparency in the public sphere. While there is certainly a need to maintain confidentiality in certain situations, the public has a right to know when their elected officials are making decisions that impact their lives.

Ultimately, it will be up to the inquiry to determine the appropriate course of action in this case.

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