Lockdown legal fight: Businessman launches High Court battle against coronavirus rules

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Simon Dolan, who according to the Sunday Times Rich List is worth £200 million, and who splits his time between Monaco and the Caribbean island of Mustique, is bringing his High Court claim against Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson over the regulations. His legal action, for which he has raised £125,000 from around 4,000 individuals so far via crowdfunding, is also challenging the decision to close schools and asks for disclosure of minutes from all Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) meetings since the beginning of the year.

At the heart of this historic case is the protection of freedom and liberty for 66 million people

Simon Dolan

Speaking today, Mr Dolan, 51, said: “At the heart of this historic case is the protection of freedom and liberty for 66 million people.

“We are challenging a catastrophic set of decisions which will leave an indelible print from a boot which has stamped on the nation’s freedoms and will blight the lives of generation after generation.

“Every day that the lockdown remains in place is one more day the country cannot afford – on any level.

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“For those reasons and more, this is very possibly the most important case of our lifetime.”

Mr Dolan’s claim argues the measures to be unlawful because, he argues, they breach the European Convention on Human Rights, the five tests set for terminating lockdown are too narrow, and the Government’s restrictions are disproportionate.

He added: “We are filing this claim as the Chancellor warns of a deep, unparalleled recession.

“The number of people furloughed or unemployed stands at 10 million people, and billions are being wiped off the economy with every passing day.

“Those lucky enough to have jobs left at the end of this crisis could see income tax increase by up to 10p in the pound.”

The Government had spent £13,000 per household on bailout so far, Mr Dolan, who is represented by Michael Gardner of Wedlake Bell LLP solicitors and by barristers Philip Havers QC and Francis Hoar, claimed.

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He added: “Yet there was no scrutiny, debate or vote on the lockdown laws before they were implemented back in March.

“The policies are completely disproportionate to the harm they are supposed to be aimed at preventing.

“A judicial review is the only effective means of challenging what the Government is doing and holding them properly to account.”

Turning his attention to the Prime Minister, Mr Dolan said: “Boris and his crew have sleepwalked into this mess and are taking the nation over the cliff edge with them.

“Yet people are voting with their feet against lockdown. Just look at the number of people out on the beaches and outside yesterday.

“In Britain today, grandparents cannot see their grandchildren, businesses cannot function and will go bust, and the measures remove the right to political protest – or even to go and get a haircut.

“We are also pushing for full disclosure on the minutes of SAGE meetings – people need to know the full details of the scientific advice that lead to the decisions that has caused so much damage to the country.

“It is my name on the claim form, but I sincerely believe this is a claim on behalf of so many businesses, individuals and families.

“Unfortunately, due to the Government’s actions, life will not simply snap back into place like in the movies.

“It won’t be just about putting on a facemask and getting on with it like nothing has happened.

“That is the sad fact we must all live with and it is why this case is so important.”

The Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said it was unable to comment on what was an ongoing court case.

Express.co.uk has also approached the Department for Education for a comment.

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