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Matt Hancock’s Personal Whatsapp And Email To Be Searched In Court Battle

by : Cameron Frew on :
Matt Hancock's Personal Whatsapp And Email To Be Searched In Court BattleAlamy

Matt Hancock’s personal email and WhatsApp messages will be searched as part of a High Court battle over antibody test contracts.

The battle concerns proceedings brought forward against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) by the Good Law Project, with claims that more than £80 million worth of antibody test contracts were awarded unlawfully over the course of the pandemic.

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According to the legal campaign group, three contracts given to Abingdon Health in April, June and August last year weren’t actually published until October, and these contracts were secretly given without any sort of competition or advertisement, compromising ‘very substantial unlawful public subsidies’.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock. (Alamy)Alamy

As per The Independent, a High Court judge has since ruled that the former health secretary’s government email accounts and ‘non-government communications systems’ used for DHSC business can be searched for relevant information, which will include emails and any WhatsApp data.

‘It seems to me that even though his involvement has been described as limited, limited can still be quite significant,’ Justice Fraser said.

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The Good Law Project’s barrister Joseph Barrett wrote that the ‘contracts were awarded directly, and secretly, without any advertisement or competition’ and Hancock was the ‘ultimate decision-maker’ in the contracts and used multiple personal email accounts for conducting government business.

Hancock, who resigned from his position as health secretary after photos and footage emerged of him kissing an aide in his office and breaching COVID-19 rules, has denied any wrongdoing and says he wasn’t involved in how the contracts were awarded.

Matt Hancock has been accused of handing out test contracts unlawfully. (Alamy)Alamy

However, Barrett alleges the DHSC has ‘either destroyed or otherwise put beyond recovery or refused to search or disclose almost all of the repositories and documents of the four most senior and important individuals in the case’.

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Philip Moser QC, representing the DHSC, argued, ‘There is no reasonable basis on which to seek such disclosure, because Mr Hancock’s involvement in the matters which are in issue in these proceedings was limited and, in any event, any communications from the then Secretary of State would have been caught by the existing disclosure exercise.’

The trial will take place from December 6 this year.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: News, Legal, Matt Hancock, Now, UK, whatsapp

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The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Matt Hancock to have personal WhatsApp and emails searched in court battle over Covid test contracts