The then-health secretary, Boris Johnson and other top officials gave senior police officers their “marching orders” at meeting just after the third national lockdown began in January 2021.
The latest messages emerged as Mr Hancock lashed out at journalist Isabel Oakeshott – who leaked the MP’s communications to The Telegraph after working with him on book – accusing her of “massive betrayal”.
But Ms Oakeshott called his claim the messages were not in the public interest “ridiculous”, and said anyone “who thinks I did this for money must be utterly insane”.
Newly-released messages show Mr Hancock discussed with top civil servant Simon Case his fears that police were failing to crack down on rule breaches. “I think we are going to have to get heavy with the police,” he said on 28 August 2020.
The ex-health secretary also told Mr Case he was pleased “the plod got their marching orders” after a meeting he attended with Mr Johnson and then home secretary Priti Patel on 10 January 2021.
Mr Case joked about travellers arriving in Britain being “locked up” in “shoe box” hotel rooms after quarantine curbs were introduced, messages from February 2021 show.
And Mr Johnson is said to have told Mr Hancock it was “superb” that two people were fined £10,000 for returning to Dubai without quarantining in March 2021.
Among the other new revelations from the collection of more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages, Mr Johnson was said to be concerned he would be criticised for “blinking too soon” on ordering a second national lockdown.
Messages with Mr Hancock show the then-PM made the observation a day after announcing the lockdown in November 2020, after being warned by a scientist that the decision was based on out-of-date data.
Mr Johnson told his health secretary that his media advisers had warned him that such a move was “too far ahead of public opinion”.
The ex-PM took the decision to set up Tier 4 curbs for England – which saw many Christmas plans – on 28 December 2020 at the very same time a festive party was taking place inside No 10, according to The Telegraph.