Matt Hancock sparks LAUGHTER from MPs while speaking in Commons

Matt Hancock sparks LAUGHTER from MPs and ridicule online as he speaks from the backbenches to insist Britons deserve ‘dignity’ under social care reform… weeks after walking out on wife over secret affair

  • Disgraced former health secretary Matt Hancock is booed and heckled by fellow MPs in Commons today
  • He was speaking from backbenches in support of Boris Johnson during a debate on social care reform
  • Mr Hancock was forced to quit the Cabinet on June 26 after being seen on CCTV kissing his married aide 

His first words back in the Commons since resigning were always going to prompt an interesting response.

And disgraced former health secretary Matt Hancock was booed and heckled by fellow MPs this afternoon as he stood up to speak from the backbenches in support of Boris Johnson during a debate on social care reform.

The 42-year-old Conservative was forced to quit the Cabinet on June 26 when CCTV from his Whitehall office was leaked of him kissing his married aide Gina Coladangelo in breach of his own Covid-19 social distancing guidance.

And today, he congratulated the Prime Minister following his statement on social care – which will see a £12 billion-a-year tax raid to address the funding crisis – and called for the sector to be integrated with health ‘properly’.

Matt Hancock speaks in the House of Commons in London today for the first time since he resigned as health secretary





Mr Hancock resigned after he was shown in CCTV footage kissing his aide Gina Coladangelo inside his ministerial office 

As he was hecked, Mr Hancock said: ‘Thank you very much Mr Speaker. The reform of social care has been ducked for decades because successive governments, successive governments have put it in the ‘too difficult’ box.

‘So can I congratulate the Prime Minister for delivering on our commitments and his commitment, and can I ask him to ensure that as well as the money, we integrate properly the NHS with social care, so that people can get the dignity that they deserve?’

What did Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson say? 

Matt Hancock: ‘Thank you very much Mr Speaker. The reform of social care has been ducked for decades because successive governments, successive governments have put it in the ‘too difficult’ box. 

‘So can I congratulate the Prime Minister for delivering on our commitments and his commitment, and can I ask him to ensure that as well as the money, we integrate properly the NHS with social care, so that people can get the dignity that they deserve?’

Boris Johnson: ‘Yeah, thank you very much – I want to thank my Right Honourable friend, because he played a major part in the gestation of these policies and he knows them intimately, he knows them well, and he is completely right, and he has been massively encouraging to the Government over the course of the last few weeks.

‘So what we will be doing is bringing forward a White Paper on the integration – and of course this is going to eb difficult, but it’s got to be done and we must have a system whereby people can work across both the health sector and the care sector in an integrated way.

‘We’ve got to have single budget holders and we’ve got to make sure, for instance, that you have single electronic records in both health and social care. These are things that need to be fixed.

‘And we need to make sure that people are cared for appropriately and in the right setting, Mr Speaker, and that’s why we’re bringing forward the White Paper.’

The Prime Minster thanked Mr Hancock, replying: ‘Yeah, thank you very much – I want to thank my Right Honourable friend, because he played a major part in the gestation of these policies and he knows them intimately, he knows them well, and he is completely right, and he has been massively encouraging to the Government over the course of the last few weeks.

‘So what we will be doing is bringing forward a White Paper on the integration – and of course this is going to eb difficult, but it’s got to be done and we must have a system whereby people can work across both the health sector and the care sector in an integrated way.

‘We’ve got to have single budget holders and we’ve got to make sure, for instance, that you have single electronic records in both health and social care. These are things that need to be fixed.

‘And we need to make sure that people are cared for appropriately and in the right setting, Mr Speaker, and that’s why we’re bringing forward the White Paper.’

Also today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak paid tribute to Mr Hancock, thanking him for the creation of traineeships and for making sure Britain had the ‘fastest rollout of a vaccine anywhere in the world’.

Mr Hancock told MPs: ‘It seems to me that the combination of the furlough scheme, the kickstart scheme, the youth offer that he has just discussed, shows that the Chancellor’s efforts are leading to the UK having one of the fastest economic recoveries in the world.

‘Will he commit to working globally to ensure that the confidence and opportunities that this brings are available globally as they are increasingly here in the UK?’

His comments were booed loudly by the opposition benches, before Mr Sunak replied: ‘(He) is absolutely right and can I thank him for two things; first of all when he was a minister he created traineeships, which he will be pleased to know that this Government is tripling the number of to give young people the best possible start in life to find new skills and opportunities, but most importantly this year, because of his success in making sure this country had the fastest rollout of a vaccine anywhere in the world, we are enjoying the fastest opening up and the fastest economic recovery. I pay tribute to him for that.’

In the wake of the scandal in June, Mr Hancock was said to have told his wife Martha that their marriage was over and announced he would be spending time away from the spotlight to focus on his three children.

Mr Hancock and his married aide Gina Coladangelo are pictured together leaving the BBC studios in June

Matt Hancock and his wife Martha at the NME Awards at the O2 Academy in Brixton, South London, in February 2018

Mr Hancock (second right) was among the MPs listening to Boris Johnson’s update on Afghanistan in the Commons yesterday

He was later seen moving boxes, suitcases and clothes out of his marital home in London. Miss Coladangelo, 44, has three children with her millionaire husband Oliver Tress, 54, who founded homeware chain Oliver Bonas.

New social care funding is ‘nowhere near enough’

Social care funding pledged by the Government for the next three years is ‘nowhere near enough’, sector leaders have said.

Some £5.3 billion will go towards social care between 2022-23 and 2024-25, the Government announced on Tuesday. Less than half of this will fund the new minimum floor and cap.

From October 2023, nobody will pay more than £86,000 for their social care – regardless of their assets. The Government will fully cover the cost of care for those with assets under £20,000, and contribute to the cost of care for those with assets of between £20,000 and £100,000.

Around £500 million will go towards workforce training and skills, while money will also go towards increasing local authority payment rates, integration and quality.

The chief executive of the UK Home Care Association, Dr Jane Townson, said: ‘This is nowhere near enough. It will not address current issues and some measures may create new risks.’

Today, Mr Johnson broke an election promise as he announced a £12billion a year tax raid to address the funding crisis in health and social care.

The Prime Minister insisted the new health and social care levy, based on a 1.25 per cent increase in National Insurance contributions, was ‘the reasonable and the fair approach’.

Downing Street said that a typical basic rate taxpayer earning £24,100 would pay £180 a year, while a higher rate taxpayer on £67,100 would pay £715 as a result of the new tax.

As well as providing extra funding for the NHS to deal with the backlog of cases built up during the Covid-19 pandemic, the new package of £36billion over three year will also reform the way adult social care in England is funded.

A new cap of £86,000 on lifetime care costs from October 2023 will protect people from the ‘catastrophic fear of losing everything’.

The Government will fully cover the cost of care for those with assets under £20,000, and contribute to the cost of care for those with assets between £20,000 and £100,000.

Currently anyone with assets worth more than £23,250 has to fund their care in full.

Mr Johnson entered Downing Street in 2019 claiming he had a clear plan to fix the social care crisis and the manifesto which helped secure his landslide election win later that year promised not to raise National Insurance.

Admitting that pledge had been scrapped, Mr Johnson said: ‘No Conservative government ever wants to raise taxes and I will be honest with the House, yes, I accept that this breaks a manifesto commitment, which is not something I do lightly.

‘But a global pandemic was in no-one’s manifesto and I think the people of this country understands that in their bones and they can see the enormous steps this Government and the Treasury have taken.

‘After all the extraordinary actions that have been taken to protect lives and livelihoods over the last 18 months, this is the right, the reasonable and the fair approach.’

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