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‘How bad are the pics?’: Messages reveal Hancock’s reaction after affair story breaks

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The Telegraph’s Lockdown Files, in which journalist Isabel Oakeshott passed more than 100,000 messages to the newspaper. The newspaper reports on many of the messages between Mr Hancock and his advisers between when the news of the affair broke on The Sun’s website at 1 am on June 24 2021, and his resignation 41 hours later on June 26 2021.

The messages show Mr Hancock discussing his initial response to media questions with media adviser Damon Poole as they waited for the story to break.

The messages show Mr Hancock asking Mr Poole: “How bad are the pics?”Mr Poole replies: “It’s a “snog and heavy petting”, to which Mr Hancock says: “How the f*** did anyone photograph that?”Mr Hancock appears to be concerned about incoming questions on breaking social distancing rules and asking Mr Poole to “keep the focus” on Ms Coladangelo’s appointment.

In one message exchange, Mr Poole asks Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo to think about whether they had broken any Covid rules.

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