'Hancock's unsackable': James O'Brien reacts to pictures of him kissing his aide

25 June 2021, 14:01 | Updated: 25 June 2021, 14:44

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien reacted to pictures of the Health Secretary's amorous clinch with a married colleague, predicting he would not be sacked for this offence.

Mr Hancock has admitted he broke social distancing guidelines but defied calls to step down after pictures emerged of him kissing a senior aide.

He was caught on the Whitehall Office camera embracing lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, wife of the founder of Oliver Bonas, in pictures obtained by the Sun.

Mr Hancock issued a statement today: “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."

No 10 has since made a statement that the Prime Minister has accepted Matt Hancock’s apology for breaching social distancing guidelines and "considers the matter closed."

Conversely, speaking on LBC to Nick Ferrari, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he was "sure" that Matt Hancock was following Covid rules during the steamy embrace.

James O'Brien reflected, "Johnson can't sack him. He simply can't sack him. Any other Prime Minister at any other point in British history would have been able to sack him in a heartbeat.

"Johnson cannot sack Matt Hancock because anything Hancock has done, Johnson's done better to coin a phrase or more accurately, done much much much worse.

"Pick a sin, Johnson's written a book on it. Pick a moral transgression, Johnson's done it a million times. Pick a lie, Johnson's told it more times than Hancock's had hot dinners.

"Even Boris Johnson hasn't got the front to sack someone for moral transgressions."

The Health Secretary cancelled a public appearance at a vaccine centre today amid a growing storm after the pictures emerged. Downing Street has not commented on the photos.

Mr Hancock has been married to Martha Hoyer Millar for 15 years and the couple have three children together.