Jacob Rees-Mogg 'Had Covid Test For Son Couriered To His Home During Pandemic'

The unusual arrangement was revealed in leaked WhatsApp messages.
Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Stefan Rousseau via PA Wire/PA Images

A Covid test was couriered to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s home during a nationwide backlog at the height of the pandemic, leaked WhatsApp messages suggest.

The kit was sent to the then cabinet minister’s house in September 2020 after a lab “lost” a test taken by his son, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The unusual arrangement was revealed in an exchange of messages between then health secretary Matt Hancock and his special adviser Allan Nixon, obtained by the paper.

In one message, Nixon says: “The lab lost JRM’s child’s test, so we’ve got a courier going to their family home tonight, child will take the test, and courier will take it straight to the lab. Should have result tomorrow AM.”

At the time, there was a backlog of 185,000 tests waiting to be processed.

Rees-Mogg has been contacted for comment by HuffPost UK.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “This is yet more evidence that it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else.

“The Covid inquiry must look into reports Conservative ministers were able to get priority access to tests at a time of national shortage.”

The leaked WhatsApp messages were given to the Telegraph by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who was originally given them by Hancock to help her write his “Pandemic Diaries” book.

Some of the messages suggest Hancock rejected advice to give coronavirus tests to all residents going into English care homes.

But a spokesperson for the MP - who lost the Tory whip after agreeing to appear on I’m A Celebrity - strenuously denied the claim.

He said: “These stolen messages have been doctored to create a false story that Matt rejected clinical advice on care home testing. This is flat wrong.

“On April 14th Matt received a response to his request for advice from the Chief Medical Officer’s that testing was needed for people going into care homes, which he enthusiastically accepted.

“Later that day he convened an operational meeting on delivering testing for care homes where he was advised it was not currently possible to test everyone entering care homes, which he also accepted.

“Matt concluded that the testing of people leaving hospital for care homes should be prioritised because of the higher risks of transmission, as it wasn’t possible to mandate everyone going into care homes got tested.”

The spokesman said the Telegraph had “doctored the messages” by leaving out some which back up Hancock’s version of events.

″[Matt] went as far as was possible, as fast as possible, to expand testing and save lives,” the spokesperson said. “This story categorically shows that the right place for this analysis of what happened in the pandemic is in the inquiry.”


What's Hot