Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: proof Tories forcing councils to keep school virus outbreak data secret

Responses to Freedom of Information Act request reveal councils have to agree not to reveal information before government will release data to them

Greater London councils – and almost certainly councils across England – have been forced by the Tory government to agree not to reveal information about the extent of coronavirus outbreaks in their areas, according to responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests.

Bromley and Hounslow councils both provided identical responses to requests from a campaigner for information on coronavirus outbreaks in schools within their boundaries, saying that they could not share the information requested because of an agreement with Public Health England:

The identical wording strongly suggests the response is a template provided by the government in anticipation of such requests for information – and that the Tories always intended to keep the public in the dark about the consequences of their reckless haste to return children to school, in spite of warnings from their own scientists about the inevitable rise in infections it would fuel.

And if two London councils are only receiving data from the government in return for keeping it secret, it’s a safe bet that all councils – in London and around England at least – are being forced to do the same.

The Tories were warnedeven by their own SAGE scientists – that re-opening schools would fuel a ‘second wave’ of the pandemic, a warning that has come predictably true. And it now appears that the virtually the only thorough preparation the Tories did for those consequences was to keep them secret from the public.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The only good Tory is a dead Tory. What are they afraid of? 60,000 dead and there has been zero public outcry: indeed, 40% would still vote for them! They can get away with anything.

    1. and forty per cent more would vote for their carbon copies and the trilateral commission. That’s why they can get away with everything.

  2. And yet when I suggest the franchise should not be automatic on reaching 18 but should be subject to IQ tests I’m called “elitist” by people who imagine intelligence to be the preserve of Savile Row-suited, public school-educated Tories.
    Democracy and even socialism are of no value if they lead to idiocracy, and that’s where we’re headed.

    1. Look to a deeply dysfunctional and biased media for the main source of our problems. The Tories were not voted in by the under 25s.

      1. You see through the media bullshit, I see through it and so does everyone reading the Skwawkbox I hope.
        Today’s media couldn’t survive an educated population but it’s a chicken and egg thing.
        TV panders to ‘the undecided’ – polling booth fodder – with game shows and other trivia to keep them entertained.
        In return TV gets the power to persuade the poor suckers that they’re the salt of the earth and that their wealthy exploiters are really their benefactors.

  3. ITs difficult enough for all democratic countrys,but without a constitution,or a Bill of rights…we end up with a abuse of power by the johnson government and no one elected to stop him or wishing to stop the Conservative and unionist party.ITs basically coming down to the streets to stop the jackboot fascist state.

  4. I wonder if the Merseyside councils have been muzzled, too, especially Liverpool City Council and Mayor Joe Anderson. Can you find out Skwawkbox?

  5. On Frankie Boyle’s show it had footage of Starmer saying something like this;

    “I’ve tried to give the government the benefit of the doubt”

    It is something we should not do with Starmer.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: