Prisoner launch was thought of at begin of Covid pandemic – Hancock

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plan to launch “1000’s” of prisoners was thought of in the course of the Covid-19 lockdown, based on Matt Hancock’s diaries.

The main points, first reported by the Every day Mail which is serialising the previous well being secretary’s journals, come as Mr Hancock returns to Westminster after his stint on ITV’s I’m A Movie star… Get Me Out Of Right here!

Mr Hancock, who was one of many key figures in authorities because the nation navigated the pandemic, reveals in his diaries that the Ministry of Justice proposed to launch prisoners amid considerations concerning the unfold of the virus.

In a diary entry on March 17, he wrote: “A bonkers proposal from the Ministry of Justice to let prisoners out, as they’d be simpler to handle in the event that they’re not in jail.

“Sure, actually: they really thought this may be a goer. I used to be emphasising [my opposition] so exhausting that unexpectedly my chair might take the pressure now not and ripped, tipping me unceremoniously on to the ground.’”

In a while April 3, he wrote: “Officers are nonetheless insisting that Justice Secretary Rob Buckland desires to launch 1000’s of non-violent prisoners to take the stress off the system. I hold writing ‘NO’ in massive letters on submissions asking me to signal this off.

“It’s apparent the general public gained’t put on it, but the concept retains going backwards and forwards on paper.

“After concerning the third iteration, I referred to as Rob Buckland, who to my astonishment advised me he’d been suggested that I used to be the one who needed to launch them.

“Sadly, this nonetheless wasn’t the tip of the matter. Clearly somebody in Whitehall nonetheless thought it was a good suggestion and saved pushing it, to the purpose that the PM requested to speak to us each. I made my views crystal clear.

“We can’t lock up actually everybody within the nation besides prisoners, who we as a substitute launch, I spluttered.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson stated: “HMPPS moved to guard the NHS in the course of the pandemic via the restricted launch of a really small variety of low-level, tagged and risk-assessed prisoners simply weeks earlier than they have been attributable to go away jail anyway.

“This was profitable in avoiding the 1000’s of jail deaths predicted by Public Well being England.”

In keeping with the paper, Mr Hancock wrote within the prologue to the diaries: “I’m pleased with what we achieved, particularly on the vaccine.

“However there may be a lot to be taught for the subsequent public well being disaster of this sort, which I’m positive will occur in my lifetime.”


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