'Astonishing arrogance', says MP Diane Abbott on Matt Hancock affair
- Credit: PA
Diane Abbott said Matt Hancock showed "astonishing arrogance" after breaking his own Covid rules by kissing aide Gina Coladangelo during the pandemic.
Leaked footage of the then-Health Secretary's affair has led to the disgraced politician's resignation and a wave of scrutiny over his and his department's decisions.
Hackney MP Ms Abbott said: “It is astonishing arrogance for Matt Hancock to break the rules that he himself brought in to try and protect the community from coronavirus.
"What makes it worse is that he gave the girlfriend a job in his own department that she was not even qualified for.
"Boris Johnson should have sacked him days ago."
While there has been some debate over the suitability of appointing Gina Coladangelo to a paid role at the Department of Health and Social Care, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said he is confident "due process" was followed.
Justice Buckland told Sky News: “I have information that suggests due process was followed and I have no reason to doubt or dispute that.”
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced questions about his government’s “moral compass” following the Matt Hancock row.
On a campaign visit to Batley he was asked what a minister has to do to get sacked – Mr Hancock quit on Saturday (June 26) after being backed by Downing Street on Friday (June 25).
Asked whether it undermined the message about being “all in it together”, Mr Johnson said: “That’s right, and that’s why when I saw the story on Friday we had a new Secretary of State for Health in on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, new Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said the camera that caught Matt Hancock kissing an aide has been disabled.
During a visit to St Thomas’ Hospital in London, he told broadcasters: “For security it’s just common sense. I don’t think as a general rule there should be cameras in the secretary of state’s office. I’ve never known that in the other five departments that I’ve run and I’m not really sure why there was one here but I’m sure there will be more to this as the whole incident is investigated.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has also called for an investigation and "transparency" amid claims former health secretary Matt Hancock used a private Gmail account to conduct official government business.