Matt Hancock is said to have “lifted the lid” on a “bonkers” lockdown plan in a new book on his time as Health Secretary. Serialisation for the highly-anticipated book “Pandemic Diaries” is soon to begin, with the full book due out next week.
On his return from the ‘jungle’, Mr Hancock has approved the early publication of his upcoming book’s opening.
This features an entry for March 17, in which he blasted a “bonkers proposal from the Ministry of Justice to let prisoners out, as they’d be easier to manage if they’re not in prison”.
He wrote that pressure on this line persisted, noting: “We cannot lock up literally everyone in the country except prisoners, who we instead release, I spluttered.”
Responding to the writing, published in Mail+, a Whitehall source told the same paper: “The idea that Hancock was the main line of resistance to this is just not true.”
They added that the then-Justice Secretary “was against it from the start, as was the PM”.
The source continued: “And it was the PM who made the comment about not releasing prisoners while we’re locking up everyone else. It was madness.”
Mr Hancock’s book spans the course of the pandemic, proving a perspective on the Government’s response to this.
In a soon-to-be released interview with the Mail, the former minister also described falling “deeply” in love with former aide Gina Coladangelo, the following actions of which cost him his marriage, job and reputation.
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In the opening of his book, Mr Hancock describes himself as having been “in the hot seat” during the most intense crisis “in human history”.
He added: “I am proud of what we achieved, especially on the vaccine.
“But there is much to learn for the next public health crisis of this kind, which I am sure will happen in my lifetime.”
The former Health Secretary discussed his book while appearing on the I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! television programme, prompting criticism that he had only agreed to star in order to boost sales.
Mr Hancock insists the book allowed him to “tell the story straight”, and is likely to be the focus of great scrutiniy.