JAN MOIR: Matt Hancock's cheated on the whole country

JAN MOIR: Matt Hancock’s not just betrayed his family, he’s cheated on the whole country

From his love bunker deep in the Department of Health, Matt Hancock has been laying down the Covid social-distancing laws since the pandemic began. 

For millions of us, there has been no escape from his strictures. Listen to him go on!

Rules ‘are so important,’ he said in September last year. ‘The whole country needs to follow social distancing. We can only do this as a whole society. Everybody has a role to play.’

Indeed we do.

A few months later he was still urging people to stay Covid-compliant. ‘We can’t stop now, just because the vaccine is here,’ he said. 

Rules ‘are so important,’ he said in September last year. ‘The whole country needs to follow social distancing. We can only do this as a whole society. Everybody has a role to play’

In January, he noted sternly that people ‘shouldn’t take the mickey out of the rules’.

The next month, when asked if people could hug their loved ones, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Well I hope that will happen from May 17 . . . that is some time off.’

Even a few months ago, he was still hammering home this message to the BBC’s Andrew Marr that ‘the most important thing is that people stay at home and follow the rules’. Except me, he might have added. I can do what I want.

For now we know that, behind the closed doors of his office and God knows where else, Mr Hancock was breaking every rule in the Covid book by having a steamy affair with his aide, Gina Coladangelo.

Both are married to other people, but that is their concern.

For now we know that, behind the closed doors of his office and God knows where else, Mr Hancock was breaking every rule in the Covid book by having a steamy affair with his aide, Gina Coladangelo

What is very much our business is that while millions of us were keeping our distance, as instructed by him, Love Rat Matt was peeling off his jaunty-coloured socks and thrashing around in a close encounter of the illicit kind with someone he works with. 

His behaviour was totally against the spirit of the rules he imposed on the rest of us, and quite possibly against the law.

This leaves Hancock’s personal morality in doubt, his judgment open to question and his levels of common sense pitched — well, where? Somewhere between a bluebottle and a blueberry?

It is hard to say, but surely top-tier Cabinet ministers know there are security cameras in their offices and close monitoring in the corridors of power? What was he thinking?

Still, it is not his stupidity but his hypocrisy that galls the most. For back on May 6, when the damning images of the steamy clinch were captured, it was Hancock himself who was personally decreeing it illegal to hug a person from another household indoors.

Casual sex and any physical manifestation of a secret love, if I can put it that way, were basically outlawed.

You weren’t even supposed to have face-to-face business meetings unless they were ‘reasonably necessary’.

‘But this is necessary,’ growled Matt, pressing his lips upon hers and grabbing himself a handful of prime aide buttock as if she were a human squeegee.

Unless he was demonstrating to Ms Coladangelo exactly how to administer the vaccine should there be a global shortage of syringes and trained medical staff, there is no excuse for his actions.

Remember that otherwise law-abiding citizens have been fined for having a cup of tea with a friend at Matt’s behest. Others have been rounded up in city parks like livestock.

We have been forbidden from hugging at funerals or holding large wedding parties. Yet Mr Lovepants saw fit to break the social-distancing strictures himself.

We have been forbidden from hugging at funerals or holding large wedding parties. Yet Mr Lovepants saw fit to break the social-distancing strictures himself

Even his grudging ‘apology’ yesterday was riddled with hypocrisy.

‘I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry. 

I remain focused on working to get country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter,’ he said in a statement. It sounded rushed. 

A few careless words dashed off between the careless whispers of his next tryst.

Matt, a word. It’s a bit late to start thinking about the welfare of your family now. You should have thought about that when you were marinating yourself in a cauldron of lust behind closed doors. 

Matt, a word. It’s a bit late to start thinking about the welfare of your family now. You should have thought about that when you were marinating yourself in a cauldron of lust behind closed doors (pictured, Hancock and wife Martha in 2018)

A Health Secretary in the middle of a national health emergency breaking the rules that he himself imposed on the nation: if that is not a matter of urgent public interest, then what is?

At the beginning of this crisis, Hancock asked a lot of this country — and the majority of people responded heroically. We were all in it together, he insisted. Got it, we said, nodding in agreement.

On this fraught journey, we were his fellow travellers. In matters of community and responsibility, we sacrificed and did our best — in fact, we are still doing our best. Hour upon hour, day after day, month after long month.

We socially distanced, we wore our masks, most of us somehow managed not to have spontaneous encounters with people who worked for us, no matter how attractive they were, or how neatly they filed important correspondence.

Yet Matt Hancock did not. It was one rule for us, but another for him. 

What a hypocrite he has proved himself to be — leading the clap for the NHS, pretending to cry when the first vaccines arrived, scuttling back to the office to administer a double-dose love potion of his own. And it is not as if he didn’t have enough going on.

Hancock has been repeatedly accused of being ‘totally f*****g hopeless’ and ‘useless’ at his job. 

At a time when he should have been focused on saving lives, he was distracted by the charms of his comely aide and old university friend — and paying her thousands from the public purse.

That is hardly giving 100 per cent to the job and to your country.

What makes it even worse is that Hancock the Hypocrite wasted no time in condemning Professor Neil Ferguson, the government scientist who broke lockdown rules to meet his married lover last year.

I think that he ‘took the right decision to resign,’ harrumphed the Health Secretary back then. 

On whether or not the academic should be prosecuted, he added: ‘It’s a matter for the police.’

What makes it even worse is that Hancock the Hypocrite wasted no time in condemning Professor Neil Ferguson, the government scientist who broke lockdown rules to meet his married lover last year 

Hark at him. The police! If there were any justice in the world, the Hypocrisy Cops would be around at his office now, arresting him on charges of duplicity, double standards and hanky-panky in a public office.

On one level, he is just another deluded, middle-aged man who believes that illicit liaisons somehow make him important. But on another, he is a cringing cad who has not just lied and cheated on his wife, but on the whole country, too.

Whatever was left of Matt Hancock’s shattered bond of trust with the British public, it has now broken beyond repair. And if we have lost faith in him at this time of national duress, how can we possibly go on together?

The Prime Minister says it is not a resigning matter, but surely the Health Secretary’s position — no pun intended — is now untenable.

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