Angela Rayner mocks Matt Hancock's new job offer: 'Shouldn't be anywhere near!'

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Angela Rayner mocks Matt Hancock's new job offer: 'Shouldn't be anywhere near!'

The former Health Secretary, who resigned on June 26 after breaching coronavirus guidelines when he was spotted kissing his aide, was appointed as

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The former Health Secretary, who resigned on June 26 after breaching coronavirus guidelines when he was spotted kissing his aide, was appointed as the United Nations’ (UN) special representative for financial innovation and climate change. As part of his role, he will be helping African countries recover from the Covid pandemic.

But Ms Rayner and other Labour MPs skewered Mr Hancock’s appointment, with the Deputy Labour leader saying he “shouldn’t be anywhere near” his new position.

Ms Rayner said: “Matt Hancock should not be anywhere near this or any other job.

“His only involvement in Covid response should be the public inquiry into the (Government’s) mishandling of the pandemic and the ICO investigation into dodgy dealings when he was Health Secretary.

“This appointment is an insult to bereaved families and is the latest evidence that the appointments system in this country is completely broken and needs to be totally overhauled and replaced.”

Lord Chris Renard, Lib Dem Peer and former Party Chief Executive, responded to Mr Hancock’s appointment with derision.

He said: “Haven’t people in Africa suffered enough?”

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, noted Mr Hancock’s appointment while also addressing reports Boris Johnson blocked Commonwealth countries from sharing information on manufacture of vaccines.

She said: “Shocking that Johnson would block these proposals.

“And then he sends Hancock to mess up Africa’s efforts. It’s time to call this out!”

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Announcing his appointment on Twitter, Mr Hancock said he was “honoured” to have been given the role.

Vera Songwe, UN under secretary general, said the former Health Secretary’s “success” in handling the UK’s pandemic response was a testament to the strengths he would bring to the role.

He said: “The acceleration of vaccines that has led the UK move faster towards economic recovery is one testament to the strengths that you will bring to this role, together with your fiscal and monetary experience.

“The role will support Africa’s cause at the global level and ensure the continent builds forward better, leveraging financial innovations and working with major stakeholders like the G20, UK government and Cop26.”

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It comes after a report from MPs found Britain’s response to the Covid pandemic was “one of the UK’s worst ever public health failures”.

Greg Clark, the chair of the science and technology committee said some of the most serious early failings resulted from apparent groupthink among scientists and ministers which led to “fatalism”.

He added: “It was more a reflection of fatalism … if you don’t have the prospect of a vaccine being developed, if you think people won’t obey instructions to lockdown for very long, and have a wholly inadequate ability to test, trace and isolate people, that is what you are left with.”

Mr Hancock was one of 50 witnesses who gave evidence to the report.

It also comes after Ms Rayner was slammed for her Tory “scum” remarks at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

She said:“we cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute vile … banana republic, vile, nasty, Etonian … piece of scum” when referring to the Government.

Ms Rayner defended her comments as being made in the “street language” of her northern working-class roots.

Rayner said she would say sorry only if Boris Johnson apologised for past comments he made “that are homophobic, that are racist, that are misogynistic”.



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