Matt Hancock laughed at upon return to parliament as he talks of ‘dignity’

Former health secretary quit after revelations of his affair with close aide Gina Coladangelo

Joe Middleton
Tuesday 07 September 2021 20:05
Matt Hancock heckled as he praises Boris Johnson for social care reform

Former health secretary Matt Hancock was laughed at as he spoke in the House of Commons for the first time since resigning.

Mr Hancock - who quit after revelations of his affair with close aide Gina Coladangelo - congratulated the prime minister in a debate on social care.

The disgraced former Cabinet member was praised by both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, with the chancellor thanking him for the “fastest rollout of a vaccine anywhere in the world”.

But his colleagues were less forgiving, and on both occasions he rose to speak he was met with a chorus of boos, laughing and general heckling.

Following Mr Johnson’s statement on social care, Mr Hancock said: “The reform of social care has been ducked for decades because 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.

“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?”

The prime minster thanked Mr Hancock for playing “a major part in the gestation of these policies”.

Mr Johnson said: “What we will be doing is bringing forward a White Paper on the integration.

“Of course, this is going to be difficult but it has 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 have got to have single budget holders and we have got to make sure that, for instance, you have single electronic records in both health and social care.”

Mr Johnson in Tuesday admitted to breaking an election manifesto promise after he announced the £12bn tax raid to tackle a crisis in health and social care.

The prime minister told MPs in the House of Commons that 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”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer disagreed with the increase and said a tax on wealth aimed at “those with the broadest shoulders” should be used to pay for an improved social care system.

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