The Independent

Hancock reaches a new low


It was the UK’s great misfortune that Matt Hancock was health secretary during most of the coronaviru­s pandemic. Hancock will be remembered for handing out generous PPE contracts, with minimal scrutiny, to his drinking pals like Alex Bourne. All while Hancock was carrying on an affair with his aide, Gina Coladangel­o, during a crisis when people weren’t allowed within two meters of each other.

That’s all before his shameful but highly lucrative 30-day stint on I’m a Celebrity. Hancock’s excuse for being on reality TV, when he should have been representi­ng his West Suffolk constituen­ts in parliament, was that he wanted to show viewers the “real me”. The “real” Hancock made sure to collect a £320,000 fee from the show before donating only 3 per cent of it to a dyslexia charity too.

All this was bad enough. But we now know, via leaked social media messages, that then health minister Hancock ignored scientific advice to get hospitalis­ed, elderly people tested for Covid before they were returned to their care homes. But according to him, the messages are “doctored”. Even by Tory standards, this is a new low.

Sasha Simic London

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