‘We absolutely need No. 10 to crack down on her’: Matt Hancock ‘clashed with vaccine czar Dame Kate Bingham and branded her ‘crazy’ after questioning the need to prick everyone in the UK’, leaked WhatsApps reveal
Matt Hancock described the former administration’s vaccination czar as “goofy” and “totally unreliable” after questioning the need to give the entire population the shot, leaked WhatsApp messages show.
Dame Kate Bingham was responsible for overseeing the UK’s efforts to find and produce effective Covid-19 vaccines and in October 2020 told the Financial Times that the vaccination of the entire UK population was ‘not going to happen’.
After getting her comments from Damon Poole – Mr Hancock’s special media adviser – the former health minister said: ‘We absolutely need No 10 to sit hard on her’, the Telegraph has reported.
He then went on to describe her saying, “She has an opinion and a crazy way of expressing it and is totally untrustworthy.” She considers everything that is not her idea as political interference.’
The revelation comes after Isabel Oakeshott – Mr Hancock’s ghostwriter for the book Pandemic Diaries – handed over 100,000 WhatsApp messages to the newspaper.
In leaked WhatsApp messages, Matt Hancock described the former government’s vaccine czar as ‘totally unreliable’
Dame Kate Bingham was responsible for overseeing UK efforts to find and produce effective Covid-19 vaccines
In June 2021, it was revealed that Ms Bingham would be awarded ladyship in recognition of her work as leader of the UK Vaccine Taskforce (VTF).
She was the unpaid chair of the task force for seven months before stepping down in December 2020 and Dr Clive Dix taking over.
Mr Hancock’s leaked WhatsApp messages also revealed calls from the former Health Secretary’s aides asking if they could ‘lock up’ former UKIP leader ‘pub hooligan’ Nigel Farage in 2020 amid the pandemic of the coronavirus.
The leak has already shown Rishi Sunak and Mr Hancock complaining about Dominic Cummings’ ‘nightmare’ appointment to Downing Street, as well as the then Health Secretary’s repeated concerns that the Eat Out To Help Out initiative of the then Chancellor contributed to the spread of Covid. -19.
It has also been revealed that Mr Hancock spent 41 hours desperately trying to save his career after The Sun was given photos revealing his fling with Gina Coladangelo, which showed the pair kissing in violation of its own social distancing rules.
As revelations continued to emerge, Mr Hancock also appeared to have told aides that he wanted to ‘scare the hell out of everyone’ to ensure Covid-19 restrictions were adhered to.
The former health minister even discussed when the government should “deploy” the new strain to scare the public.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case also appeared to suggest in January 2021 that the ‘fear’ factor would be ‘vital’ to halt the spread of the virus.
Mr Hancock has said in response to the leaked messages that he is ‘deeply disappointed and saddened by the massive betrayal and breach of trust by Isabel Oakeshott’.
He also said: “There is absolutely no public interest case for this massive breach. All the material for the book has already been made available to the Inquiry, which is the right and only place to consider everything carefully and learn the right lessons.
“As we’ve seen, releasing it in this way gives a partial, biased account befitting an anti-lockdown agenda.”