Matt Hancock's 'lawyer' says sorry for furious rant on GB News

Matt Hancock’s ‘lawyer’ is forced to apologise for TV rant after GB News host revealed he was ‘asked to represent the ex-Health Secretary’ amid WhatsApps leak

  • Lawyer Jonathan Coad blasted GB News for saying he ‘represented’ Mr Hancock 
  • In a furious rant, he said he made it ‘absolutely clear’ for the show not to say that
  • But his email had missed a key word and led to audiences roaring with laughter 

A lawyer, who went on a bizarre rant on GB News after a presenter revealed he had recently represented Matt Hancock, has apologised – for a typo in his own email to the show that triggered the surreal exchange.   

Jonathan Coad had been invited on the GB News debate on Sunday to discuss the fallout of the ex-Health Secretary’s leaked WhatsApp messages by political journalist Isabel Oakeshott.

Mr Coad claimed he had told producers of the show not to mention his ties with Mr Hancock. But when host Steve N Allen introduced him as a lawyer ‘asked recently to represent Matt Hancock’, it ignited a furious response. 

‘I made it absolutely clear to your programme, I asked them not to disclose that. That is very, very poor journalism,’ raged the lawyer, who claims to have represented royalty, senior MPs and celebrities.

He added: ‘When your own television station has engaged in correspondence with me where I explained that I’m in a position to be able to comment on this and mentioned I’d been approached by Matt Hancock – I asked you not to mention that and you mentioned it. 

Lawyer Jonathan Coad was welcomed onto GB News on Sunday night as the legal expert ‘representing’ Matt Hancock following the leaking of private WhatsApp messages by journalist Isabel Oakeshott 

The lawyer raged at GB News host Steve N Allen for his introduction – until Mr Allen read out Mr Coad’s email to show producers in which he wrote: ‘As a courtesy to the lady who approached me to act for MH [Matt Hancock] I would be grateful if it was mentioned that he asked me to act for him (via his assistant).’

‘If anybody is tempted to take you seriously or your programme seriously here is a good reason not to.’

But minutes after the rant, in which the lawyer also accused GB News of ‘throwing poo left, right and centre’ at Mr Hancock, host Mr Allen read out Mr Coad’s email to the show – which revealed the legal eagle had missed out a key word – ‘not’.

The email said: ‘As a courtesy to the lady who approached me to act for MH [Matt Hancock] I would be grateful if it was mentioned that he asked me to act for him (via his assistant).’ 

READ MORE: Matt Hancock blocked chief medic Chris Whitty’s calls to ease isolation rules because he feared it would show ministers had been ‘getting it wrong’

As the studio audience roared hysterically at the typo, a po-faced Mr Coad replied: ‘You’re absolutely right, it’s my mistake I missed out the “not” – I take all of that back. You’re right and I’m wrong. Fair dos I’m absolutely wrong about that, my apologies.’

Mr Coad’s website says he has is a ‘crisis’ specialist who has ‘acted for numerous corporate clients, high-profile business leaders, senior politicians… and three members of the Royal Family both to protect their reputation and secure their privacy.’ 

But his blunder on GB News has been viewed more than 650,000 times and has led to him being ruthlessly mocked online, with one user to saying: ‘Is this a joke??? I don’t know what’s real anymore!’, and a second person tweeting: ‘You couldn’t write this kind of comedy.’

Another lampooned the lawyer for his error in a mocked-up courtroom skit, saying: “‘How do you plead, Mr Hancock?” “Guilty” “No! Sorry, I missed out the NOT! Not guilty!”‘

Former Toy MP and international development secretary, Rory Stewart – once a contender to become the next leader of the Conservative Party – even shared the video, tweeting: ‘You have to watch until the end.’

The gaffe by the lawyer triggers roars of laughter from the live audience watching Sunday evening’s debate (pictured) into the leaking of private messages sent by Mr Hancock during the pandemic 

Mr Coad was quick to apologise and claimed he had missed the word ‘not’ in his email. But people soon took to social media to ruthlessly mock him for the blunder 

The blunder led to Mr Coad been ruthlessly mocked on social media, for the lawyer’s error being lampooned by users over Twitter

In leaked WhatsApp messages Matt Hancock described the former Government’s vaccines tsar as ‘totally unreliable’

Others took aim at Mr Hancock and his former boss, Boris Johnson, with one person tweeting: ‘Dismally stupid choice of ghostwriter, ditto for the lawyer. This is the man Boris Johnson thought could best make decisions on our population’s welfare in the face of a major pandemic.’ 

But the lawyer was given credit by viewers for promptly owning up and apologising for the slip-up. “To be fair it’s refreshing for someone to hold their hands up and say ‘oops, my bad, sorry”!,’ tweeted one person. 

The news comes just days after more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages were leaked to the Telegraph by Isabel Oakeshott – Mr Hancock’s ghostwriter for the book Pandemic Diaries.

Ms Oakshott spent almost year helping to write the book and claimed to have viewed ‘thousands and thousands of sensitive government communications relating to the pandemic’. 

But the political journalist’s leak could have breached a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). She has since claimed that Mr Hancock had sent her ‘menacing’ messages in the early hours following the release of the messages. 

Isabel Oakeshott, who has described lockdowns as an ‘unmitigated disaster’, said she was releasing the messages because it would take ‘many years’ before the end of the official Covid inquiry, which she claimed could be a ‘colossal whitewash’

In one message on April 14, Mr Hancock said Sir Chris had finished a review and recommended ‘testing of all going into care homes, and segregation whilst awaiting result’. Mr Hancock described it as ‘obviously a good positive step’. However, the investigation said he later responded to an aide: ‘Tell me if I’m wrong but I would rather leave it out and just commit to test & isolate ALL going into care from hospital. I do not think the community commitment adds anything and it muddies the waters’

Sir Chris Whitty (left) told then health secretary Matt Hancock (right) there should be testing for ‘all going into care homes’

Speaking last week to Good Morning Britain: ‘I really think this whole menacing message thing has been a bit overinflated. I’m not frightened or intimidated. It simply said at 1.20 in the morning: ‘You have made a big mistake.’

‘You can’t really interpret that as anything other than a threat.

‘He has since followed through with more threats of legal action and so on, but I’m not worried about that. I’m not going to be intimidated or blown off course by that. This is much more important than those considerations.’

Mr Hancock – who last year appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – admitted telling the journalist she had made a ‘big mistake’ by passing on the private messages to a newspaper.  

But he denied his message had been threatening and accused her of a ‘massive betrayal and breach of trust’.

He argued: ‘There is absolutely no public interest case for this huge breach,’ stressing the ‘material for his book’ had already been sent to the official Covid inquiry.

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