Rees-Mogg had a Covid test personally delivered amid national shortage
Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘had a Covid test for one of his children couriered to his home amid a shortage’, according to leaked messages
- Matt Hancock’s special advisor organised the Covid test, leaked messages show
- Happened two days after NHS was forced to apologise for shortages and delays
Jacob Rees-Mogg had a Covid test personally delivered for one of his children during a national testing shortage, according to leaked WhatsApp messages.
Then Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s special advisor organised the test for Mr Rees-Mogg just two days after the director of NHS Test and Trace was forced to give ‘heartfelt apologies’ to anyone who couldn’t get a test due to shortages and delays, it is claimed.
The leaked WhatsApp messages obtained by The Daily Telegraph show Mr Hancock’s special advisor Allan Nixon personally organised the test to be delivered by couriers after the initial test of Mr Rees-Mogg’s child went missing in September 2020.
There was a backlog of 185,000 tests waiting to be processed at the time, blamed on lack of capacity in laboratories, which forced hundreds of thousands of people to stay at home waiting for a test or result.
But in a message sent to Mr Hancock on September 10, 2020, Mr Nixon said: ‘The lab lost JRM’s child’s test, so we’ve got a courier going to their family home tonight, child will take the test, and courier will take it straight to the lab. Should have result tomorrow AM.’
Mr Rees-Mogg had the test organised by then Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s special advisor, just two days after the director of NHS Test and Trace was forced to give ‘heartfelt apologies’ to anyone who couldn’t get a test due to shortages, according to leaked messages
The leaked WhatsApp messages obtained by The Daily Telegraph show Mr Hancock’s special advisor Allan Nixon personally organised the test to be delivered after the initial test of Mr Rees-Mogg’s child went missing in September 2020.
He added: ‘Jacob’s spad is aware and has helped line it all up, but you might want to text Jacob.’
At the time, Mr Hancock admitted that ‘operational challenges’ in the testing system would take ‘weeks to resolve’.
Mr Rees-Mogg had been set to attend his weekly appearance at the House of Commons on September 10, 2020, but at the time said he was self-isolating because he was waiting for his child’s test result.
The Lockdown Files consist of more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages shared between ministers, officials and scientists over the course of the pandemic.
Matt Hancock has hit back at what he says is a ‘distorted account’ on his handling of care home testing in the pandemic that has been ‘spun to fit an anti-lockdown agenda’.
A spokesman for the former health secretary said: ‘It is outrageous that this distorted account of the pandemic is being pushed with partial leaks, spun to fit an anti-lockdown agenda, which would have cost hundreds of thousands of lives if followed. What the messages do show is a lot of people working hard to save lives.
‘The full documents have already all been made available to the inquiry, which is the proper place for an objective assessment, so true lessons can be learned.
‘The story spun on care homes is completely wrong. What the messages show is that Mr Hancock pushed for testing of those going into care homes when that testing was available.
‘Instead of spinning and leaks we need the full, comprehensive inquiry, to ensure we are as well prepared as we can be for the next pandemic, whenever it comes.’
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