Tory councillor calls for 'selfish, egotistical' Matt Hancock to be deselected

30 June 2021, 18:45

Matt Hancock resigned as health secretary on Saturday
Matt Hancock resigned as health secretary on Saturday. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A Conservative councillor in Matt Hancock’s constituency has called for the former health secretary to be deselected, branding him "selfish" and "egotistical".

Ian Houlder has written to the local party calling for Mr Hancock's deselection as West Suffolk MP for breaking coronavirus guidance by kissing an aide, which prompted his resignation from cabinet.

"His behaviour has been beyond the pale, his honour, integrity, probity and honesty, should he have had any, trashed beyond redemption," the Tory councillor wrote.

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"He has let every member of the public down, pontificating that they should all make huge sacrifices on the altar of the pandemic, whilst doing the complete opposite himself."

According to Mr Houlder's email to the chair of the West Suffolk Conservative Association, the scandal shows Mr Hancock to be a "selfish, egotistical man".

Mr Houlder, who sits on West Suffolk Council, also wrote directly to the MP to say: "If you have a shred of integrity or honour you would resign without delay.

"Do the residents of West Suffolk a favour and stand down."

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson was forced to defend not sacking Mr Hancock, leaving him to resign on Saturday, the day after the scandal broke when leaked CCTV footage of the embrace on May 6 was published by The Sun.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer questioned the Prime Minister in the Commons over why his spokesman initially said Mr Johnson accepted Mr Hancock's apology and considered the case "closed".

"The Prime Minister was happy to keep a health secretary in place during the pandemic who he not only thought was absolutely hopeless, but he also knew had broken the rules and was in a relationship with somebody he was employing at taxpayers' expense - it doesn't sound like case closed to me," Sir Keir said.

Mr Johnson replied: "I read the story in common with you and everyone else on Friday and we had a new health secretary in place by Saturday, which I think that, given that we have a pandemic, I think to move from one health secretary to the next with that speed was fast."