Matt Hancock says he’s after forgiveness on I’m A Celeb. Here’s why he doesn’t deserve it
Matt Hancock’s I’m A Celeb fee is equivalent to the salaries of 15 NHS nurses
Matt Hancock is currently back on our screens eating genitals and squealing over snakes with other celebrities in a camp. So whether you’re laughing at him or with him, it’s important to remember his horrendous reputation. The memes about him are funny, there’s no denying it, but we can’t forget what led to his “celebrity” status and made him worthy of joining I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
The other day in camp, Matt Hancock revealed he was in there for “forgiveness” but before you give him a crumb of that, here’s a reminder of how badly he fucked it in the pandemic and ruined the lives of millions of people.
The care home scandal
Early on in the pandemic, care homes and retirement homes were treated as a dumping ground for people with covid. Following his resignation as Boris Johnson’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dominic Cummings claimed in May 2021 that Matt Hancock had lied to the prime minister about a promise to test patients discharged from hospital for covid before entering the care home system – leading to the deaths of over 32,000 people in care homes during the first quarter of 2021.
During the pandemic, Matt Hancock insisted that there was no evidence of anyone dying due to a shortage of PPE. He said: “We’ve looked into this and there’s no evidence I have seen that a shortage of PPE provision led to anybody dying of Covid. Now that is from the evidence I have seen. What I do know is that PPE provision was tight, and it was difficult throughout the world, but we did manage – it was pretty close sometimes – but we did manage to ensure that at a national level we had the PPE.”
Reports in 2020 revealed frontline nurses were given “repurposed bin bags as official PPE” and some were also issued faulty or out of date PPE as well. In the height of the pandemic hospitals were being driven into the ground. NHS staff were trying to battle the crisis without personal protective equipment. Many were forced to isolate away from their family in order to work through the conditions and had unbelievable pressure on their mental and physical health. What was their reward? We were made to clap for them every Thursday night at 8pm. In no way did you standing on your street with a pot and wooden spoon make up for the lack of resources and funds put into the NHS by the government.
A year later at the start to of the pandemic, Hancock claimed again that there “was never a national shortage of PPE, thanks to my team,” and he even said there was “no evidence” of healthcare workers dying due to lack of PPE – he said all of this on BBC Radio 4′ s Today programme. A nurse working on the frontline told Nursing Notes magazine:”It felt like we were in a third-world country, not in the UK. My colleagues were falling ill and even dying around us. There was nothing any of us could do.”
One per cent pay rise for nurses
As if clapping for NHS staff wasn’t insulting enough, Matt Hancock announced nurses would be receiving a one per cent pay rise. He said: “These have been challenging times, one of the most challenging is the financial consequences of the pandemic. Elsewhere in the public sector there’s a pay freeze and we’ve proposed what we thought is affordable to make sure that in the NHS people do get a pay rise. It is fair to take into account all of the considerations, the incredible hard work which means that they are not part of the overall public sector pay freeze, and also what’s affordable as a nation. We do have issues of affordability because of the consequences of the pandemic on public finances as laid out in the budget this week.”
Nursing Notes published an article this month stating Matt Hancock’s fee for appearing on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here will be equivalent to the salaries of 15 nurses.
Breaking lockdown rules
This is probably still one of the hottest talking points of the pandemic. Matt Hancock had to bat off criticisms several times during his sting as health secretary. At times he issued them over patting a colleague on the back in the House of Commons, another time he denied claims which said he broke then 10pm drinking curfew.
But the career-ending moment was when he was caught passionately kissing his aid, Gina Colangelo in his office. In this moment he disrespected everyone in this country who followed his advice and destroyed his own marriage and Gina’s too. This led to his resignation from the role in June 2021, he said: “The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis. I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need to be with my children at this time.”
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