Ex-Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson says he is still alive after Matt Hancock bizarrely announces his death in Covid Inquiry

1 December 2023, 18:51 | Updated: 1 December 2023, 19:12

Matt Hancock bizarrely declared Joe Anderson had died
Matt Hancock bizarrely declared Joe Anderson had died. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A former Liverpool mayor has revealed he is still alive after Matt Hancock bizarrely said he had died in the Covid Inquiry.

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Mr Anderson said he had checked his pulse after seeing the ex-health secretary declare he was "sadly no longer with us".

Mr Hancock had been telling the inquiry about how he worked with the then-mayor for how he conducted negotiations over the coronavirus tier system.

"Joe Anderson - unfortunately, no longer with us - he was incredibly supportive," he said.

"And we ended up in Liverpool having a package of measures that was effective after a very constructive negotiation."

Read more: Matt Hancock admits affair with Gina Coladangelo was 'damaging' to public confidence during pandemic

Mr Anderson joked on X: "Just took my pulse and I seem to still be here and I feel ok."

During his evidence session on Friday, Mr Hancock said school shutdowns in January 2021 could have been avoided if a lockdown had been imposed months earlier.

But WhatsApp messages show he feared Rishi Sunak, then serving as chancellor, was putting pressure on Boris Johnson to avoid imposing strict measures.

Read more: Cummings a 'malign actor' and 'missed opportunities': 11 revelations from Matt Hancock's Covid inquiry appearance

Hancock gave more evidence at the Covid Inquiry on Friday - though he falsely said Mr Anderson had died
Hancock gave more evidence at the Covid Inquiry on Friday - though he falsely said Mr Anderson had died. Picture: Alamy

The Covid Inquiry has also heard about how he admitted his affair with Gina Coladangelo - which led to him losing his job as health secretary - had damaged public confidence.

He was forced out of government in June 2021 after CCTV footage emerged of him kissing Ms Coladangelo at the Department for Health and Social Care amid Covid rules.

"Well, what I'd say is that the lesson for the future is very clear," he said.

"And it is important that those who make the rules abide by them, and I resigned in order to take accountability for my failure to do."

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