Former British Health Minister Hancock has to justify his flippant handling of corona risks. Ironically, his own ghostwriter leaked a bundle of 100,000 explosive Whatsapp messages.

The publication of Whatsapp messages from the inner circle of the British government sheds a new light on decisions in the corona pandemic in Great Britain. This week, the “Telegraph” published a multi-part series of chat messages from conservative politician Matt Hancock, who made far-reaching decisions as Health Minister at the height of the pandemic. Among other things, it shows that Hancock ignored scientific advice to test all visitors to nursing homes. The sometimes hateful tone against teachers and unions also causes a stir.

Journalist Isobel Oakeshott provided the newspaper with more than 100,000 messages. Normally she works for the TalkTV channel, during the pandemic she became known as a lockdown opponent. Oakeshott had ghost-written Hancock’s memoirs and was given access to the news. These were also made available to the official investigation into how to deal with the corona pandemic, which is making slow progress and could drag on for years.

Oakeshott defends her move, arguing that there is an overriding public national interest in the content. “No self-respecting journalist would withhold information on such an important and historic matter,” she told the BBC. Hancock, on the other hand, accuses the journalist of not adhering to a confidentiality agreement and of abusing his trust.

The British government has repeatedly been criticized for its often idiosyncratic, risky and sometimes hesitant course. With almost 200,000 deaths where Covid-19 is noted on the death certificate, the country is among the hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe.