The High Court has agreed to expedite Sacha Lord and Hugh Osmond’s case after the government attempted to stall proceedings yesterday (6 April).

Lord and Osmond are seeking to challenge the government’s decision to delay the reopening of indoor hospitality until 17 May.

Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock had been requested by the High Court last Friday to serve his response to the application by 10am yesterday. In his response Hancock stated the department “opposes the case” and that there was “no proper basis for expedition” of the case.

He noted “the Court is asked to refuse the Claimants’ request for expedition and to allow the claim to proceed on the normal timetable for judicial review.”

However the judge agreed to expedite the case which will now be put before a Judge of the High Court for consideration during the week commencing 19 April.

Commenting on the decision, Lord said: “We are pleased with the Judge’s decision today to expedite the case and believe the Government’s response this morning was yet another stalling tactic to divert attention away from the lack of scientific data to justify the ongoing closures.

“With non-essential retail opening on Monday, there is clearly a firm basis for the case to be heard immediately. The Government has continuously failed to introduce any new evidence as to why indoor hospitality cannot open on 12 April alongside non-essential retail, or any justification for their prioritisation of retail over hospitality.”