Matt Hancock resigns: Why high-flying former fitness secretary had no protection web to save lots of him when he fell


After a decade of hopping between political lily pads, Matt Hancock’s resignation marks a mis-step of huge proportions.

His tenure as fitness secretary all over the rustic’s biggest peacetime disaster noticed the fresh-faced 42-year-old increased to probably the most vital jobs in govt.

Mr Hancock strode into the highlight with a reasonably rosy document.

He used to be one of the crucial handiest cupboard ministers to stick in submit when Boris Johnson took over from Theresa Would possibly in Downing Boulevard.

Allies pointed to his skill to stay NHS iciness pressures out of the headlines.

Then again, others accused him of being one thing of a political shapeshifter.

Within the 2019 Conservative management contest, Mr Hancock to begin with stood on a average platform.

The only time Stay supporter made some extent of flagging his opposition to postponing parliament all over the Brexit procedure.

Alarm bells started ringing when he dropped out of the race, switched his allegiance to Boris Johnson, and abruptly turned into extra sympathetic to a muscular method with the EU.

Problems round Brexit have been briefly outmoded through the coronavirus pandemic regardless that, with complaint and a few compliments flowing to Mr Hancock’s door.

He used to be a voice in cupboard arguing for tighter restrictions and an early optimist on the opportunity of vaccination as an go out course from the pandemic.

However he used to be additionally criticised for health facility shortages of protecting apparatus and struggles throughout the Check and Hint gadget.

His public goal to achieve 100,000 checks an afternoon used to be hit, however resulted in accusations of showboating amid experiences of the numbers being fiddled.

Within the care sector too, his promise to position a “protecting ring” round nursing houses rang hole as 1000’s of aged other folks have been misplaced to the virus.

Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street with aide Gina Coladangelo in May
Matt Hancock with aide Gina Coladangelo, pictured in Would possibly

The then-health secretary handled those accusations with a function amount of tiggerish optimism, steadily cranking up the sincerity and urgent the emotional buttons to lend a hand land his issues.

However a sour dispute with former Downing Boulevard marketing consultant Dominic Cummings – and the revelation that the high minister had referred to as Mr Hancock “hopeless” – speeded up an erosion of his credibility.

His political dying knell got here when footage of him kissing and cuddling a central authority legit and long-time good friend – in breach of his personal COVID regulations – surfaced within the newspapers.

Matt Hancock met Gina Coladangelo whilst they have been each scholars in Oxford within the 1990s.

Like many in Westminster, the pair studied politics, philosophy and economics however turned into pals whilst operating at the college radio station.

Whilst Ms Coladangelo left to pursue a profession in advertising and marketing and lobbying, Mr Hancock ventured into politics earlier than becoming a member of the Financial institution of England as an economist.

He then joined the group of workers of then-shadow chancellor George Osborne, in the end turning into leader of group of workers.

Privately skilled with a slick media taste and keenness for generation, Mr Hancock seemed each and every inch the David Cameron-era fashionable Tory.

After being elected as MP for West Suffolk in 2010, he had turn into a industry minister through 2012 and used to be appointed tradition secretary through Theresa Would possibly in 2018.

Inside Westminster, he garnered a name as an enthusiastic – if bold – operator.

Virtual movies of the plucky minister attempting his hand at quite a lot of photo-friendly actions like free-running and place of business cricket steadily edged from the ingenious to the cringe-worthy.

The release of his personal smartphone app used to be additionally met with mocking, as used to be a mooted concept for him to ship a convention speech as a hologram projected directly to the degree.

Tasks like this fed a creeping suspicion amongst a few of taste over substance, and questions lingered about whether or not Mr Hancock discovered it too simple to shift allegiances.

Those problems did not purpose his downfall, however will have contributed to the conspicuous loss of public reinforce he gained from fellow Tories in his second of want.

The high-flyer without a protection web to save lots of him when he fell.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged those over 30 to get vaccinated before darting off for a jog in a cricket shirt.


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