Isabel Oakeshott says Matt Hancock messages leaked ‘in the public interest’ Matt Hancock

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The author who handed over 100,000 messages from former health secretary Matt Hancock to a newspaper has defended her actions, saying she was acting in the national interest.

Isabel Oakeshott, who is at the center of a row about the leaking of Hancock’s correspondence to the Daily Telegraph, has hit back after her actions were criticized.

“The greatest betrayal is of an entire nation,” she said in a statement responding to Hancock’s charge that she had betrayed his trust.

Oakeshott said: “Although it may be hard for them to believe, this is not about Matt Hancock or indeed any other individual politician. Nor is it about me.

Along with the Telegraph, Oakeshott, a longtime critic of public health measures taken by the government during the COVID pandemic, has sought to portray the leaked messages as evidence that some lockdown restrictions were unnecessary.

On Thursday, she said: “We were all disappointed by the response to the pandemic and the repeated unnecessary lockdowns. Especially the children had to pay a heavy price for this. Anyone who questioned a point of view that we now know was fatally flawed; Including highly respected and distinguished public health experts, doctors and scientists.

“So, far from being protected, the NHS may never recover, as the millions of patients on year-long waiting lists are discovering. Meanwhile, the economy is in pieces.

“It is now essential that the public inquiry, set up nearly two years ago, quickly sets a deadline for its work and answers the question of whether the lockdown, with all its effects, was proportionate. These issues should be addressed well before the next general elections.

“Against this background, the Telegraph expose is clearly in the enormous public interest. The support I and the paper have received from ordinary people who suffered – and are still suffering – the consequences of the wrongs we are exposing, shows How desperately the country wants answers.

“I make no apologies for acting in the national interest: to cover up these truths would be the greatest betrayal.”

The lengthy statement came after Hancock said he had been the victim of a “massive betrayal and breach of trust” following the disclosure of the messages.

The former health secretary also apologized for the impact of his release on those who worked with him during the pandemic.

Hancock messaged Oakeshott while they were collaborating on her memoirs. She later submitted them to the Telegraph, which published a series of stories based on her correspondence with fellow ministers and officials.

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Oakeshott has faced questions about why he wrote a book for Hancock that put forth his own version of the government’s response to the pandemic, while holding WhatsApp messages that he claims are a different The story tells. He has said that he wrote the book he wanted, that there was too much material at the time and that after Hancock wrote the book for him, his responsibility became to the public.

Isabel Oakeshott accuses Matt Hancock of sending ‘dangerous’ messages after leaked video

Hancock has said: “I am extremely disappointed and saddened by the massive betrayal and betrayal by Isabel Oakeshott.

“I am also sorry for the impact on so many people – political colleagues, civil servants and friends – who worked hard with me to survive the pandemic and save lives.”

He said there was “no public interest case for this major breach” as all material used for his book, Pandemic Diaries, had been given over to the Covid-19 public inquiry.

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