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LONDON — During the chaos of Brexit, COVID-19 and Tory regicide, there’s been one reassuring consistent: Matt Hancock within the information.
Every so often of his personal making, however regularly no longer, the previous well being secretary has a tendency to seek out himself the focal point.
Recently, he’s driving out days of protection about his dealing with of the pandemic, after a journalist to whom he passed 1000’s of his WhatsApp messages for his memoirs made up our minds to … go them on to a newspaper.
Listed below are seven occasions Hancock has ended up within the highlight:
Sack to the longer term
A fresh-faced Hancock had his first undesirable enjoy with the highlight when he failed to seem in the back of him all over a photoshoot.
Looming over the then-minister for abilities within the 2014 pic — taken as a part of an interview with Overall Politics mag — was once a clear-as-day piece of graffiti about his boss on the time: “Sack Cameron!”
David Cameron obviously didn’t thoughts the gaffe such a lot — given he in reality promoted Hancock to minister for trade per week later.
Westminster was once left bemused when Hancock — then the virtual minister, in equity — introduced the Matt Hancock App in 2018 as some way of enticing together with his constituents.
The app, in concept, promised to rival Twitter and Fb because the social community of the longer term.
In apply, it was once plagued with information utilization worries and was once completely shuttered in 2022. However we’ll all the time have the reminiscences.
The COVID 12 months
When he was once appointed as well being secretary in 2018 underneath Theresa Would possibly, Hancock can’t have imagined the center-stage position working the federal government’s reaction to an international pandemic that might apply two years later.
He was a family identify, steadily helming prime-time COVID press meetings whilst the virus raged. He was once referred to as a key recommend for stricter regulations within the govt, regularly sparking rows with the extra skeptical Boris Johnson.
Hancock additionally again and again clashed with Dominic Cummings, the previous PM’s combative one-time leader aide.
Cummings used an look at a parliament committee listening to to indicate that “tens of 1000’s of folks died who didn’t want to die” all over the early days of the pandemic underneath Hancock’s keep an eye on, and that the previous well being secretary must were fired for “15 to twenty” various things.
He was once sooner or later fired, however no longer for any of the explanations Cummings instructed.
Hancock was once compelled to surrender his high-profile govt process after it emerged he had damaged coronavirus regulations he helped to jot down.
The Solar newspaper printed in 2021 pictures of the married Hancock engaged in a kiss together with his aide Gina Coladangelo, whilst the U.Ok. was once nonetheless following strict social distancing laws.
Up to now, he has no longer held every other process in govt. Coladangelo and Hancock are actually a pair.
Truth take a look at(ebook)
Hancock was hoping to get again into govt when Rishi Sunak entered Downing Side road in October closing 12 months.
After it was clean that wasn’t going to occur — when Sunak utterly disregarded Hancock out of doors No. 10 — he made up our minds towards lifestyles as a typical backbench MP.
As an alternative, Hancock jetted off to the Australian jungle to participate within the truth display “I’m a Superstar … Get Me Out Of Right here.”
Over two weeks of grueling camp lifestyles with different celebrities, Hancock confronted down a number of snakes, took phase in karaoke and ate “willy con carne” — a camel’s penis. “Cushy and crunchy,” was once his verdict at the appendage.
Hancock would end 3rd at the truth display, whilst his profile on social media apps equivalent to TikTok grew due to his TV time.
His animal-genital-gorging escapades got here with a heavy worth, on the other hand. Hancock misplaced the Tory whip ahead of he’d even landed in Australia.
Everybody from Sunak to Tory contributors in his personal constituency coated as much as assault Hancock’s resolution to spend time clear of his tasks in London and West Sussex all over a cost-of-living disaster.
Amid the native complaint, he sooner or later introduced he wouldn’t stand once more as an MP on the subsequent election.
In December closing 12 months, Hancock launched “Pandemic Diaries,” an within account of his reports all over the pandemic.
Earlier than his front into the jungle, Hancock had introduced plans to submit the diaries, in spite of previous immediately denying he was once making plans a memoir when requested by means of POLITICO.
Written with the anti-lockdown journalist Isabel Oakeshott (extra on her in a little), the ebook charted the previous well being secretary’s enjoy of pushing for tighter lockdown restrictions.
Hancock gave Oakeshott get right of entry to to 1000’s of his WhatsApp textual content messages from the time to assist her write the ebook. Must be tremendous, he (doubtlessly) mused.
Opinions have been blended. The Dad or mum’s Gaby Hinsliff argued that the diaries have been obviously written after the reality, permitting Hancock to appear “brilliantly prescient.” Tim Stanley within the right-leaning Telegraph when put next Hancock’s tone within the ebook to the cringe-comedy personality Alan Partridge.
Keep in mind that, Hancock didn’t have the closing chortle.
The Hancock leaks
On Tuesday night, Hancock heard rumors that a large tale about him was once brewing.
The involved MP texted his co-author Oakeshott, asking her if she had “any clues” about what was once occurring. Oakeshott didn’t answer.
Her reason why for ignoring Hancock was clean when the Day-to-day Telegraph printed their Lockdown Recordsdata investigation — all of which is in line with round 100,000 of Hancock’s personal WhatsApp messages, which Oakeshott had handed directly to the newspaper with out Hancock’s wisdom or permission.
The newspaper is anticipated to submit tales about Hancock and the federal government’s dealing with of the pandemic in the case of the fabric within the texts for days to return.
Hancock is now embroiled in a confrontation with Oakeshott, whom he accused Thursday of a “large betrayal.” The journalist mentioned Thursday that Hancock despatched her a “menacing” textual content at 1.22 a.m., one thing his workforce denies.
“You may have made a giant mistake,” Hancock texted Oakeshott.
Mistake or no longer, the leak thrust Hancock again into the highlight — the place he all the time turns out to finally end up.