Drakeford on Hancock: ‘Can’t make laws for other people then not be willing to abide by them yourself’
The First Minister has said that Matt Hancock can’t make laws for other people then not be willing to abide by them himself.
He was responding to a question regarding whether Matt Hancock should resign, after England’s Health Secretary has said that he accepted that he broke social distancing rules.
The Sun published pictures of Mr Hancock and close aide Gina Coladangelo kissing.
Matt Hancock later said: “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry. I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter.”
Mark Drakeford however said: “You can’t make laws for other people and then not be willing to abide by them yourself.”
He said that there was a “legitimate distinction between public and private lives” but that the “case of Matt Hancock does seem to me that there are issues of genuine public interest”
He added that Matt Hancock had been “very quick to condemn” Professor Neil Ferguson after the government adviser was found to have broken lockdown rules by arranging visits from his lover last year.
In May 2020, Matt Hancock claimed to have been left “speechless” by Prof Ferguson’s “extraordinary” behaviour, and said it had been right for him to resign as a government Sage adviser.
Mark Drakeford added that there were “legitimate public interest questions about how people are appointed if they turn out to be in a different kind of relationship with those who appoint them”.
UK Labour have already called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to sack Matt Hancock.
Labour Party chairwoman Annaliese Dodds said: “If Matt Hancock has been secretly having a relationship with an adviser in his office – whom he personally appointed to a taxpayer-funded role – it is a blatant abuse of power and a clear conflict of interest.
“The charge sheet against Matt Hancock includes wasting taxpayers’ money, leaving care homes exposed and now being accused of breaking his own Covid rules.
“His position is hopelessly untenable. Boris Johnson should sack him.”