Matt Hancock confirms he is writing book on pandemic and plugs it several times during GB News interview

The former Health Secretary was grilled by Dan Wootton on decisions he made during the Covid-19 pandemic

Published Last updated

Matt Hancock used his interview with Dan Wootton to plug his upcoming book on the pandemic.

Mr Wootton probed the former Health Secretary about measures he introduced for Covid, the care home scandal and whether children had been ignored.

Amid heated exchanges with Mr Wootton, Mr Hancock took the opportunity to confirm reports for the first time of his upcoming book about his time as Health Secretary.

He said: "I'm writing a book about the experience, what it looked like from being Health Secretary and what actually happened at the time."

Mr Hancock denied not regretting measures introduced during the pandemic, claiming the result would have been terrible if the "right measures" had not been in place.

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock

He told us: "These were weights on both sides of the scales, they were big judgements.

"I was always cognisant of the big decisions we were making.

"Understand that there were impacts on both sides and the goal was to get the right balance and the right outcome.

"We knew if we didn't have the right measures in place, the impact would have been terrible."

He also defended plans put in place before the pandemic, which he claimed were written before we knew what Covid-19 was.

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock

He also said: "Those plans were written for a different disease, they had been written for influenza.

"They had been based on the threat of a pandemic flu, and those preparations were incredibly important and incredibly helpful."

Dan went on to accuse Mr Hancock of withholding data that showed the effectiveness of the vaccine against the Delta variant during a Downing Street meeting in June 2021.

He said: “You didn’t share data in that meeting and partly because of that, lockdown restrictions were extended for another five weeks.”

“Is it true you withheld information and if so why?”

Mr Hancock replied: “I don’t recognise that at all…I don’t know anything about it… I have absolutely no idea about that account.

"I certainly didn’t withhold data I can be categoric about that. My approach was to use all the data we possibly could to make decisions, but the critical point about lockdown is it was necessary until the vaccine could make us safe."