Rishi Sunak Has Full Confidence In Cabinet Secretary Despite WhatsApp Messages, Says No.10

Simon Case (L) with Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.
Simon Case (L) with Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.

Simon Case (L) with Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.

Rishi Sunak has full confidence in cabinet secretary Simon Case, despite  WhatsApp messages from him about the prime minister and Boris Johnson being leaked, No.10 has said.

The Daily Telegraph has been publishing a series of stories based on Matt Hancock’s private communications during the Covid pandemic.

On Sunday it revealed Case, the UK’s top civil servant, had branded then-prime minister Boris Johnson a “nationally distrusted figure.

In another exchange he had said it was “hilarious” that some travellers arriving in the UK had to isolate when arriving home.

Case also dismissed some criticism of lockdown rules as just “pure Conservative ideology”.

And in one message he said Sunak, the then-chancellor, was “going bonkers” on contract tracing.

Asked on Monday if Sunak still had confidence in Case, the prime minister’s spokesperson said: “Yes.”

The spokesperson added the WhatsApps lacked the wider “context” in which they were sent. “What we are seeing are piecemeal bits of information,” they said.

Case was appointed to the top Downing Street job in May 2020 and has served Johnson, Liz Truss and Sunak in the role.

Speaking to the BBC, Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said the messags merely gave a “view into the psyche of Matt Hancock”.

But the messages not only show what Hancock had said, but what government colleagues said to him in reply, as in this case.

The messages were shared with the Daily Telegraph by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who co-authored Hancock’s memoir the Pandemic Diaries, which covered his time as health secretary.

Hancock has condemned the leak as a “massive betrayal” designed to support an “anti-lockdown agenda”.