ONE of Britain’s richest businessmen has launched a legal challenge against the coronavirus lockdown, reports The Sun Newspaper.
Simon Dolan, who runs a string of firms, says PM Boris Johnson should ease restrictions and allow the UK economy to return to normal.
Lawyers for the entrepreneur – worth £141million on the Sunday Times Rich List – have formally notified ministers that he will pursue them through the High Court unless they end the “draconian” national quarantine.
If politicians do not respond by Thursday May 7, Mr Dolan will go to court demanding a judicial review.
Express adds –
Accusing the Government of “paralysing the country” and causing “long term damage”, he is calling on Boris Johnson to relax the current lockdown restrictions and introduce three key changes to allow the economy to recover.
This includes permitting gatherings of up to 100 people, reopening schools and reviewing the lockdown restrictions every two weeks.
Mr Dolan’s lawyers have sent a ‘Letter Before Action’ to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, giving him until Thursday May 7 to respond.
Lawyers seek to challenge the Government on three main points.
Firstly, whether the lockdown is unlawful because the Government implemented regulations under the Public Health Act 1984 instead of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 or the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Secondly over the legality of the continuation of lockdown regulation, and whether the tests are too narrow – failing to take account of the economic and social impacts of lockdown.
The final challenge will evaluate if the restrictions contravene the European Convention of Human Rights, which cover the right to liberty, family life, education and property.
As part of the application, Mr Dolan is also requesting the minutes of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) meetings this year.
The letter reads: “Failure to do so [release the minutes] will result in an application for disclosure if proceedings have to be issued.”
The legal challenge requires the Government to justify the decision-making process which led to the lockdown being introduced in March.
It will specifically ask about the scientific evidence and data used by ministers and civil servants to underpin the Government’s policy decisions.
If the Government fails to respond to the letter, Mr Dolan’s lawyers will apply for an urgent court hearing.
Mr Dolan, who owns ten UK businesses and employs 600 people, said: “Every day that the lockdown continues it is paralysing the country, wrecking the economy and causing long term damage.
“Boris Johnson has hinted at an exit strategy after declaring we are past the peak.
“But he has offered no timeframe and given himself a get out with the five tests. He seems determined to maintain the lockdown which was brought in on March 23.
“There is still no clarity on how he will get things moving again.
A crowdfunding page has also been set up, with aims to raise £30,000 to go towards legal fees.
So far Mr Dolan has reached over half of his fundraising target, raising £16,278.
Mr Dolan is represented by Michael Gardner of law firm Wedlake Bell LLP and barrister Francis Hoar of Field Court Chambers.
The campaign has backing from Erica Charles, Managing Director of Spirit Energy, a Berkshire based renewable energy company.
The Sun again –
Mr Dolan, 50, said: “The lockdown is paralysing the country, wrecking the economy and causing long-term damage.
“Boris Johnson has hinted at an exit strategy but he has offered no timeframe and given himself a get-out with the five tests.
“I want the government to explain and justify its decisions.
“I want to be assured that these measures are proportionate and lawful.
“It is vital that the frightening restrictions to our liberties are carefully thought through.”
He added: “Every life lost is a tragedy.
“But we have seen other nations deal with the pandemic effectively without such draconian measures.
“We are depriving children of a proper education and instead teaching them to hide away from uncertainty rather than to confront it.”
Mr Dolan urged Mr Johnson to start by re-opening schools and allowing gatherings of up to 100 people.
His lawyers are challenging the government on three points: the legality of lockdown under UK law, whether it breaches human rights law, and if an exit strategy has been properly considered.
Lawyers will ask what scientific evidence was used by ministers when they decided to shut down the UK on March 23.
However, two-thirds of Brits are concerned about going out to large gatherings such as sports or music events, even after the lockdown is lifted, a new poll has revealed.
IPSOS Mori’s research showed that people are also worried about using public transport and going to bars and restaurants.
They feel least worried about going to see family and friends after restrictions are lifted, followed by shopping in supermarkets.
Brits are fairly evenly split on the issue of sending kids back to school.
The government has said it will not ease lockdown until it is sure the NHS can cope, there is a “sustained and consistent” fall in daily deaths, the rate of infection has decreased, there is enough PPE and there is no risk of a second wave.
You may prefer to back the first legal challenge which has received no media coverage for some reason – the one from Robin Tilbrook –
LOCKDOWN LEGAL BATTLE
If we are to remain FREE men and women we must challenge the government on this unprecedented lockdown and their ability to suspend our rights.
Regardless of the veracity or lack of in this case, the principle of democratic rule is at stake so I need YOUR help to challenge this government in court.
On 23rd April the English Democrats, the English nationalist political party, started a Judicial Review against the Prime Minister and Health Secretary. We are arguing that the Government’s “Lockdown” regulations are unlawful.
Attached on our site is our Judicial Review Protocol letter served in support of the challenge. The Government is expected to reply by 30th April.
Solicitor Robin Tilbrook, who is the Chairman of the English Democrats, said that:
“The Lockdown over the Coronavirus panic is causing huge damage to our country’s economy and to the traditional rights and freedoms of England.
Are you with me on this or should we simply allow 1,000 years of hard won freedoms simply to be ‘locked down’ by decree!
Chairman – The English Democrats