November 19, 2021
Disgraced former health minister in talks to publish new book How I Won the Covid War
by Nikki Griffiths
Among the many hated and incompetent politicians in the UK, Matt Hancock rides high. Serving as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care from July 2018, he resigned in June 2021 after he breached social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague he was having an affair with. During his tenure he was also accused of nepotism and general incompetence (see the Guardian’s handy timeline of Matt Hancock’s controversies and breaches). And he’s not finished yet, so it seems.
Earlier this week the Daily Mail accused Hancock of cashing in on the Covid crisis, reporting that he is set to write the new book How I Won The Covid War which he would like published before the official Covid inquiry begins in spring 2022. The Mail quotes a “well-placed source” saying of the aspiring author and his book:
“Matt paints a picture of a man burning the midnight oil night after night, staying cool under fire, saving the NHS and rising above petty Downing Street squabbles.
“If you believe the book, the vaccine is all down to him for backing it against all odds, treating anti-vaxxers with contempt and winning over a skeptical public.”
The Mail goes on to drum home Hancock’s sycophantic agenda by saying:
“Mr Hancock is said to be planning to ‘go out of his way to be flattering’ about Boris Johnson, seen by some as a further sign that he is determined to win back his seat round the Cabinet table.”
He’s going to need to do some serious ass-kissing given that leaked WhatsApp messages showed Johnson calling him “totally fucking hopeless.”
Unsurprisingly, the backlash to the story has been huge. Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, tweeted her angry response saying:
“This is disgusting and an insult to each and every bereaved family. Boris Johnson needs to step in and block Matt Hancock from getting a bumper payday to put his spin on the government’s failures before we get the truth in a public inquiry.”
This is disgusting and an insult to each and every bereaved family.
Boris Johnson needs to step in and block Matt Hancock from getting a bumper pay day to put his spin on the government’s failures before we get the truth in a public inquiry. https://t.co/wbyy6TmugA
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) November 13, 2021
The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK group also accused Hancock of profiteering from others grief, with spokesperson Lobby Akinnola telling The Independent:
“You’d think the health secretary who presided over one of the worst death tolls in the world would have some humility or seek to reflect on the many lives lost, rather than try and cash in on the tragedy.
“The fact that Matt Hancock thinks it’s appropriate for bereaved families to have to listen to his spin on their loved ones’ deaths, before the truth has come out via the inquiry, says it all about the attitude of the man.”
Nikki Griffiths is the managing director of Melville House UK.