View from the chamber: 'The end of a story - the story of Matt Hancock'

Health secretary Matt Hancock arrives at BBC Broadcasting House for media interviews

Matt Hancock was forced to resign as health secretary after breaching Covid-19 social distancing restrictions - Credit: PA

Caught out; caught cheating; caught breaking social distancing rules. We now hear of his resignation, in which he tellingly does not mention the 128,000+ people who have died during this pandemic.

This is the end of a story - the story of Matt Hancock. And as a story, it’s been a tragic one. Not for him; he - alongside his other colleagues on the Tory front bench, and let’s be clear, also anyone who supports their actions - he has no shame; no compassion or respect for the people who are hurting and struggling now due to this crisis, as well as due to 10-years of Tory austerity.

Cllr Ihtesham Malik Afzal says Tory government has shown contempt to real heroes.

Cllr Ihtesham Malik Afzal says Tory government has shown contempt to real heroes. - Credit: Archant

At one stage, when it seemed like every minister in this Tory government was competing amongst one another for who could say or do the most heartless of things, Matt Hancock somehow comes out on top. And in a frontbench that includes Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove and Gavin Williamson, that is saying something.

Williamson’s shambolic handling of the cancelled exams crisis is exactly the callousness we expect from this gang in government. Housing asylum seekers at a barracks - Priti Patel’s handy work, when she finds time in-between bullying staff. Not locking down or closing the country early enough, by design, allowing the virus to 'move through the population' - that was Boris Johnson (let’s just say that is one of many from our not-so-esteemed prime minister). Not feeding hungry children, during a pandemic, takes a lot of beating. That decision - that was on the lot of them!

But Matt Hancock takes it. Whilst NHS staff; the carers, the nurses, doctors and support staff were working day-in, day-out, to look after and keep people alive, Matt Hancock and his Tory chums were doling out contracts to their friends, with failed apps, insufficient ventilators and PPE we couldn’t even use, causing a shortage which forced NHS staff to wear bin bags to treat patients. After discharging vulnerable people back into care homes without testing - resulting in an untold number of deaths, he then fronted the performative ‘clap for carers’, whilst denying them pay rises.

I’ll end by using the words of our own prime minister, who described him best. Matt Hancock, “totally hopeless!”