Politics

Not today, Matt! Less than 20% Britons want Hancock back at helm – damning poll finds

Matt Hancock grilled on Downing Street Christmas party

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The poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for PoliticsHome found the majority of those asked did not believe Mr Hancock should be forgiven for having an affair last year, at a time when stringent social distancing measures were in place. Over half of those who had not reconciled the affair said they felt this way because of the gravity of the breach of social distancing rules.

The poll asked 1,500 people, and a dismal 23 percent said they approved of Mr Hancock’s handling of his responsibilities prior to his resignation.

He gave up his position as Health Secretary in June after The Sun revealed pictures of the West Suffolk MP, who was married at the time, breaking social distance regulations in an encounter with aide Gina Coladangelo.

The photos were from May 6, at a time when mixing of households indoors was not allowed.

Mr Hancock was also challenged by a member of the public this week as he walked around North Greenwich station in east London without a face covering.

Face masks are currently mandatory on public transport.

Another traveller caught sight of Mr Hancock without a face covering and turned to question him, News Shopper reported on Monday.

They said: “Everybody else in the station was wearing a mask – I think that’s why we took a double look.

“We confronted him. He said sorry and put one on.

“I do question if he would have if we hadn’t confronted him.”

A spokesman for Mr Hancock said: “Matt was on his way to the tube and put his mask on as he was making his way into the tube station.

“Matt is careful to wear his mask on the tube, which he travels on a lot, and is very sorry for not putting it on sooner in this case.”

Mr Hancock, immediately following his resignation, disappeared from the public eye, but has recently re-emerged on social media amid rumours of hopes for a Cabinet return.

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The former Cabinet minister told the BBC in a recent interview that “people have been forgiving, which I’m grateful for”.

He reiterated an apology for the actions which led to his resignation in the summer.

He said: “Sorry for all the people I let down,” the MP said.

The former minister added: “What I really feel is that was a failure of leadership.”

He continued: “I hope that by being straightforward and apologising and resigning, people can see that I get it and I know I need to do a good job representing the people.”

In October, Mr Hancock announced that he had accepted a job with the UN, working on Africa’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the job offer was rescinded days later after the UN said MPs are not permitted to take up that position.

Mr Hancock’s office told PoliticsHome that the MP was not desperate to make a return to governmental duties, and was enjoying his work on the Dyslexia Screening Bill.

The MP introduced a parliamentary bill which, if passed, would mean that all primary school students in Britain should be screened for dyslexia.

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