When asked about the state of the Cabinet Secretary’s health, Downing Street said he was “fine” or working as normal. This was after news emerged of Boris Johnson being diagnosed with Covid-19. As the man in charge of Whitehall, Sir Mark was arguably the second most important figure handling the crisis. His health was therefore a matter of public interest. Journalist’s queries were met with the claim that he was “fine”.
However, more than a month later on 10 May, ITV journalist Robert Peston said that Sedwill had caught the virus. By 14 May, the government admitted that he had had Covid-19 at the same time as the Prime Minister.
According to the Guardian “When asked almost daily at briefings about the state of Sedwill’s health, Downing Street said he was “fine” or working as normal.” The Guardian also stated: “Asked whether the public had been misled, Johnson’s official spokesman said that he personally only became aware recently that Sedwill had been ill and that the cabinet secretary had continued to work over that period.”
The Downing Street Spokesperson appears to have misled the press about Mark Sedwill’s health.