Coronavirus: One of the UK’s richest men launches legal challenge over lockdown

Simon Dolan is threatening legal action against the government (Picture: Getty)
Simon Dolan is threatening legal action against the government (Picture: Getty)

A businessman worth £142 million is launching a legal challenge against the government over the coronavirus lockdown.

Simon Dolan, 50, who owns Jota Aviation, intends to go forward with a judicial review if some of the restrictions are not eased.

He described the measures as ‘draconian’, bad for the economy and likely to cause more deaths than save lives.

Dolan, from Essex, said: “Too many people are losing their jobs; people can’t get cancer treatment, there is suicide, domestic violence. Why are we prevaricating?

“It’s like the government is now keeping this going to justify their original decision, whereas what they should do is say we did this and now we are doing something different.”

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 25: Police officers warn people who are enjoying the sunny day despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Saint James Park in London, United Kingdom on April 25, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Simon Dolan is unhappy with lockdown rules (Picture: Getty Images)

Dolan stressed he did not want to make things even more chaotic during the pandemic but he was eager for the public to choose if they wanted to self-isolate or not.

His lawyer Michael Gardner, who has delivered a “Letter Before Action”, has given a deadline of Thursday for a satisfactory response or he will request an urgent court hearing.

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Dolan, who claims to not support any political party, added: “The lockdown is telling us to stop living to avoid dying.

“To imprison people in their homes is an extremely dramatic decision to make.

“It is unprecedented and it would have been a brave Boris to say ‘no, we are not going to do that’, but it has gone on too long now, and we need to lift it or loosen it.”

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Dolan is also requesting minutes from meetings from scientific advice group Sage since the pandemic began.

He added a crowdfunding page was only set up to raise money if the action became prolonged and said it was already funded to the court stage.

Dolan said crowdfunding would also test the support of people for the action depending on how much they contributed.

Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain was now past the peak of its coronavirus outbreak and promised to set out a plan next week on how the country might start gradually easing restrictions.

Dolan’s court action is similar to that taken by Gina Miller over Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament last year.

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