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The Telegraph Frontpage for 2023 March 03

The Lockdown Files
Matthew Robinson By Matthew Robinson
On the third day of The Telegraph’s exclusive investigation, The Lockdown Files, we reveal that Matt Hancock told ministers to “get heavy with police” to enforce Covid measures. And Rachel Johnson reveals the profound misgivings she had about lockdown and the impact it had on her parents.

Hancock gave officers ‘marching orders’ to enforce lockdowns

Ministers and the country’s most senior civil servant discussed how they needed to “get heavy with the police” to crack down on the public during the Covid pandemic. Leaked WhatsApp messages disclose how Matt Hancock and colleagues gave officers their “marching orders” to enforce lockdown measures – days before Number 10 staff held a party in Downing Street. The disclosures will raise concerns about police independence. Heavy-handed policing was one of the most controversial issues of the pandemic, and many of the 118,000 fines issued were challenged in court and overturned. Officers were later criticised for “Orwellian” tactics that included the use of drones, roadblocks and helicopters to catch rule-breakers. You can read the full investigation on our website.

The revelations come on the third day of The Lockdown Files, which also disclose how Boris Johnson was worried that he had “blinked too soon” in plunging Britain into a second national lockdown on the basis of data that scientists had warned him was “very wrong”. The former prime minister’s sister, Rachel Johnson, also writes in The Telegraph that her lonely mother had to endure care home prison as police pursued her father during lockdown. Meanwhile, separate messages show that Mr Hancock’s aides asked if they could “lock up” Nigel Farage after he tweeted a photo of himself drinking a pint of beer in a pub in an apparent breach of quarantine rules. And messages reveal that Dominic Cummings employed the help of a Conservative elections mastermind to convince Cabinet ministers that the public backed lockdowns.

‘Get heavy with police’ to enforce lockdown, Matt Hancock told ministers
Ministers and the country’s most senior civil servant discussed how they needed to “get heavy with the police” to crack down on the public during the Covid pandemic.

WhatsApp messages in The Lockdown Files disclose how Matt Hancock and colleagues gave officers their “marching orders” to enforce lockdown measures, just days before No 10 staff held a party in Downing Street.

Top mandarin mocked holidaymakers ‘locked up’ in quarantine hotels

Those unlucky enough to be caught up in Britain’s pandemic-era quarantine hotel policy likened it to being held prisoner. And messages seen by The Telegraph show that ministers and officials shared the sentiment and joked about passengers being “locked up” in “shoe box” rooms. In February 2021, Matt Hancock messaged Simon Case, the country’s most senior civil servant, saying: “We are giving big families all the suites and putting pop stars in the box rooms.” Mr Case responded: “I just want to see some of the faces of people coming out of first class and into a premier inn shoe box.” Those on the receiving end of the quarantine policy described the misery of being held captive in tiny hotel rooms. “It feels like I’m in Guantanamo Bay,” one woman who was forced to spend 10 days in a hotel said at the time.

Prince Harry to share stage with Holocaust survivor who hails Hamas as ‘heroes’

Prince Harry will share a platform with a trauma expert who has likened Hamas terrorists to the Jewish “heroes” of Nazi resistance and accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing”. The Duke of Sussex is set to take part in a live-streamed Q&A with members of the public to promote his memoir, Spare, in an “intimate” event discussing “living with loss” and “personal healing”. He is set to appear in conversation with Dr Gabor Maté, the Hungarian-Canadian Jewish Holocaust survivor, and addiction and trauma expert. However, it has emerged that Dr Maté, 79, has defended Hamas terrorists, likening them to the resistance fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Our Social Affairs Editor Gabriella Swerling has the full report.

Also in the news this Friday

Crime | Constance Marten and her boyfriend, Mark Gordon, have been charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the death of a baby. The couple were arrested in Brighton on Monday night after an exhaustive search for the pair and their newborn infant. The body of a baby was found two days later on Wednesday afternoon on the edge of an allotment on the South Downs after police were tipped off by a passing member of the public.

Around the world: Teacher placed on leave after parents criticise size-Z prosthetic breasts

A Canadian teacher has reportedly been placed on leave after months of criticism from parents about her size-Z prosthetic breasts. Kayla Lemieux, an industrial arts teacher at Oakville Trafalgar High School in Canada, was reportedly photographed by a newspaper outside school dressed as a man and without the prosthetics. The teacher has maintained that it was not her in the photograph, and that the breasts are real. Ms Lemieux has said she suffers from a rare condition called gigantomastia and that she was born “intersex”, rather than being transgender. Read the full report here.
Kayla Lemieux
Kayla Lemieux says she began hormone replacement therapy in 2021 and is ‘in transition’ Credit: Nick Kozak

Comment and analysis

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Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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