Reform UK leader Richard Tice has hinted at the significant details set to emerge from Matt Hancock's leaked WhatsApp texts, and it spells bad news for the ex-Health Secretary.
Speaking to GB News, the partner of Isabel Oakeshott, the journalist who obtained the texts, said key details regarding schools, masks and vaccines are all to come.
It comes as more than 100,000 WhatsApps linked to Hancock’s time as health secretary were handed to the Daily Telegraph.
Tice told GB News: “There is lots still to come, across a whole range of subjects.
Isabel Oakeshott's partner Richard Tice believes there is many more relevations to come from Matt Hancock's lockdown texts
“The issue of schools and why they were shut for so long, Sweden didn’t shut its schools and ruin their education.
“The issue of masks, the issue of vaccines, there’s loads to come and that will flow over the coming days.”
The Reform UK leader told GB News’ Bev Turner that the messages “proved what we feared” with regards to lockdowns being imposed in the UK.
He said: “Those of us who were sceptical of lockdowns and the merits, we feared what was going on, these messages provided the proof.
“The conclusion had to be its in the national interest, not only in the UK but also internationally.
“We have to learn the lessons and learn them fast.”
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has urged people not to rely on “piecemeal bits of information” when it comes to making their minds up on how the Government handled the pandemic.
Sunak instead defended the official coronavirus inquiry, saying it is the “right way” to scrutinise the matter.
Matt Hancock has threatened to sue the Daily Telegraph newspaperPA
Tice, however, argued on GB News that he is sceptical about whatever findings the inquiry throws up, questioning why it is taking so long for it to take place.
He said: “My concern is the inquiry will turn out to be a whitewash, an establishment cover up to show they did the best thing when that simply isn’t true.
“People deserve the truth.”
Tice questioned the coronavirus inquiry “literally starting as we speak” saying in comparison to other countries, it has simply taken too long.
He said: “It looks like it is going to take at least five years, probably ten years, cost hundreds of millions of pounds.
“We need to learn the lessons and we need to learn them rapidly about what went well and what went badly.
“Sweden finished its inquiry a year ago, France is already well on its way.
“We can’t wait for this, it’s really important that the public understand the extent to which our politicians didn’t tell us the truth all the way through these lockdowns, and the consequences of that.”
In reaction to Matt Hancock allegedly rejecting Chris Whitty’s advice on care home testing, Tice said the health secretary “lied” to the public.
He told GB News: “He lied to everybody. He said consistently that a protective rings being thrown around the care homes.
"It wasn’t. We suspected it wasn’t.”
A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: “These stolen messages have been doctored to create a false story that Matt rejected clinical advice on care home testing. This is flat wrong.
“Matt concluded that the testing of people leaving hospital for care homes should be prioritised because of the higher risks of transmission, as it wasn’t possible to mandate everyone going into care homes got tested.
“He went as far as was possible, as fast as possible, to expand testing and save lives.”
Hancock was “considering all options” including a possible injunction to block further disclosures and action against Ms Oakeshott, who allies said was subject to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
A source close to him told the PA news agency: “She’s broken a legal NDA. Her behaviour is outrageous.”
Downing Street suggested a leak inquiry was not required because the source had been publicly identified.