Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”Pandemic Diaries; The inside story of Britain’s battle against Covid”

Matt Hancock MP

Facts

The book was retrospectively assembled with the aid of journalist Isabel Oakeshott. According to Sunder Katwala the book “an example of a particularly shabby new non-fictional form: the ‘diary’ written in retrospect/it’s not a diary at all. It’s a memoir in diary form.” 

Verdict

Some buyers of Matthew Hancock’s book would probably have gained the impression from the title that Matthew Hancock had written a diary when he was health secretary during the Pandemic. He hadn’t.

We emailed Matt Hancock’s office offering him the chance to respond. His office responded saying:  “Matt addresses this explicitly and directly in the book. It might be worth reading that. A more accurate statement would read, ‘Matt sets out clearly and transparently the sources for the book in the prologue.’”

So we looked again at the book’s introduction. It says that “The account that follows has been meticulously pieced together by my former papers held by the department; contemporaneous notes and voice memos; my communications with ministerial colleagues; interviews with many of the participants and myriad other emails and messages that record what happened and why particular decisions were taken.”

We thank Mr Hancock for his swift and courteous response.

Client JournalismThe Daily Mail repeated Hancock’s false claim that he was publishing a diary. The Mail called it “an electrifying – and astonishingly revealing – diary no one who lived through those dark days will want to miss… ” 

A  British newspaper (as so often) helping a leading politician giving credibility to a misleading narrative.

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