Councillors pass vote of no confidence in former health secretary Matt Hancock

28 July 2021, 16:05

Councillors in Newmarket have passed a vote of no confidence in their local MP Matt Hancock
Councillors in Newmarket have passed a vote of no confidence in their local MP Matt Hancock. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Councillors in Newmarket have passed a vote of no confidence in their local MP, former health secretary Matt Hancock.

The town's council came to the decision at Monday night's meeting following the ministerial resignation of the West Suffolk MP.

Mr Hancock, who served as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care since 2018, stepped down from his post after footage was published of him kissing married aide Gina Coladangelo in his departmental office, in breach of coronavirus rules.

Mayor of Newmarket Michael Jefferys, who is a member of the Labour Party, used his casting vote to pass the motion, with five voting for, five against and four abstentions.

The passed resolution states that the former Cabinet minister has "neglected the best interests of his constituents" and, as health secretary, "demonstrated hypocrisy and hubris in the pursuit of his own interests".

Mr Jefferys said he has been "dismayed" at Mr Hancock's performance as an MP and as health secretary, adding: "For someone in such a responsible position to then behave in the way that he has is for me the last straw."

It has been reported that three Conservative councillors walked out of the meeting with one branding the vote a "disgrace".

West Suffolk Conservative Association said it had received a "heartfelt apology" from Mr Hancock after his resignation and formally backed him to continue representing the constituency.

A spokesman for the association said in a statement on Wednesday: "Even the Labour/Independent-controlled local town council couldn't find a majority against Matt Hancock.

"We are very grateful for the strong local support Matt is receiving."