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Journalist debunks minister’s ‘fake news’ claim with Hansard’s help

Liam Thorp 1A regional daily journalist debunked a minister’s claim his newspaper had published “fake news” about her – by directing her to Hansard.

Nadine Dorries, minister for mental health, hit out at the Liverpool Echo on Twitter after it published a story revealing a government contract covering coronavirus tests in England did not require operator Deloitte to share the results with national or local health bodies.

Ms Dorries posted a link to the piece on Twitter and described it as a “classic fake news story”.

But Echo political editor Liam Thorp, pictured, responded by reminding the minister of her own comments in Parliament on the matter.

Ms Dorries posted: “Liverpool Echo, I’m gutted. I thought better of you.

“This is a classic fake news story.

“Deloitte reported to the Department of Health and Social Care as they should do.”

Liam replied that the Echo had quoted directly from Ms Dorries’ words in Parliament on Thursday, in which she said: “As an existing professional services provider to the public sector, Deloitte’s expertise is being used to supplement in-house resource to deliver significant programmes of work, which currently includes the national response to COVID-19.

“The contract with Deloitte does not require the company to report positive cases to Public Health England and local authorities.”

Posting a link to the quote, he added: “The Hansard answer from Ms Dorries that we quoted directly is here if anyone wants to check.”

Ms Dorries has yet to respond to Liam’s reply.

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