Matt Hancock says you should snitch on neighbours and land them with £10k fine

Matt Hancock has become the latest minister to say he would call police if he spotted a neighbour flouting coronavirus rules – in spite of the PM saying the opposite.

The embattled Health Secretary said this morning he would snitch if he found out someone wasn’t self isolating when they should be.

Mr Hancock joins Home Secretary Priti Patel in saying he’d contact police – even after Boris Johnson voiced his disdain for “sneak culture”.

The PM on Friday urged Brits not to be a grass unless they see someone having an ‘Animal House’ style hot tub party – a reference to a 1978 National Lampoon movie.

It comes as the government introduces fines of up to £10,000 for people who repeatedly flout the two-week quarantine rule.

Matt Hancock today became the latest minister to say he would call police

This morning Mr Hancock was asked by Sky News’ Sophie Ridge whether he would report a neighbour, and he responded: “Yes, and everybody should.”

He echoed that a short time later when asked the same question by the BBC’s Andrew Marr, saying: “Yes. For the self isolation part that is absolutely necessary because that is how we break the chains of transmission.”

He continued: “I’m not in this for a popularity contest. I’m in this to keep the country safe.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’s not a fan of the ‘sneak culture’

It stands in stark contrast to Boris Johnson’s standpoint, after the PM told The Sun: “I have never much been in favour of sneak culture, myself.

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“What people should do in the first instance obviously if they are concerned is raise it with their friends and neighbours.

“But I think what is reasonable for anyone to do is if they think there is a serious threat to public health as a result of their neighbours’ activities – if there is some huge kind of Animal House party taking place, as I am sure, hot tubs and so forth, and there is a serious threat to public health then it’s reasonable for the authorities to know.”

The Health Secretary said the UK is at a “tipping point”

On Thursday Priti Patel said:  “If I saw gatherings of more than six people, clearly I would report that.”

Kit Malthouse, the Policing Minister, said anyone concerned about people breaking the rules could call the non-emergency police number 101.

That prompted a backlash, with former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption moaning the law was “pointless, arbitrary and unnecessary” and could lead to a “Stasi-style” network of informers.

It has caused frustration among frontline police.

Mr Hancock said he would call police if he found out neighbours weren’t self-isolating (file image)

On Friday the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, said officers were “trying to interpret” the rules.

Asked if there should be “more guidance” he snapped: “Maybe we should have ‘guidance’, because we haven’t had any yet.”

Mr Hancock told the Andrew Marr Show: “This country faces a tipping point, and we have a choice, and the choice is if everybody follows the rules and does the self-isolation if they need to, follows the rule of six, which is really simple and clear, and the basics, hands, face and space, then we can avoid further measures.

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“But the alternative to that choice is that we will have to bring in more action.

“And we don’t want to do that, but every single person has a part to play in this and everybody watching has a choice: do you follow the rules or not?”



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