Cheating Matt Hancock is already plotting his comeback – even though he’s being urged by some former Cabinet colleagues to quit the Commons entirely
- Matt Hancock appealed to current and former Ministers for advice on comback
- Ex-colleagues say damage caused is so great that he will have to leave Commons
- They also warned even if he stayed on he could struggle to supplement salary
Matt Hancock is already plotting how to salvage his political career – despite being urged by some former Cabinet colleagues to quit the Commons entirely.
The ex-Health Secretary has appealed to current and former Ministers for advice on how to fight back after his resignation, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Friends of Mr Hancock, forced to quit for breaching social distancing rules by embracing aide Gina Coladangelo in his office, insist he has no intention of quitting as an MP.
The ex-Health Secretary has appealed to current and former Ministers for advice on how to fight back after his resignation
One ministerial friend of Mr Hancock said last night that he would definitely not be giving up his West Suffolk seat. Pictured, Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo in a clinch caught on CCTV
But some ex-colleagues say the damage caused is so great that he will have to leave the Commons.
They also warned that even if he stayed on, he could struggle to supplement his backbench MP’s salary of nearly £82,000 with outside jobs, which they say he would now need to.
One former Minister he has consulted said that Mr Hancock, who has left his wife for Ms Coladangelo, would need more money to ‘fund his new life’.
‘But,’ he added, ‘given the notoriety which he has now achieved, it will be impossible for him to find new jobs without declaring them in the MPs’ Register [of Interests].
‘That will drag the companies reluctantly into the limelight.’
One ministerial friend of Mr Hancock said last night that he would definitely not be giving up his West Suffolk seat. The friend said: ‘Matt will not be quitting, and will prove himself to be a great backbench MP.’
However, Mr Hancock’s flouting of social distancing rules – caught on CCTV images leaked to a newspaper – sparked fury. His behaviour was also blamed by some Tories for the party’s failure to win the Batley and Spen by-election. Party co-chairman Amanda Milling admitted that the Health Secretary’s actions were a factor in the West Yorkshire seat, narrowly held by Labour.
Despite that, some ex-Cabinet colleagues argued that Mr Hancock, who is still only 42, was young enough and resilient enough to make a ministerial comeback.
Allies also pointed to the tone of Boris Johnson’s letter accepting his resignation two weeks ago, with the Prime Minister telling Mr Hancock that ‘your contribution to public service is far from over’.
However, other senior Tories dismissed that, claiming that sort of ‘sorry to see you go’ tone was normal in such letters.
One said: ‘Everyone gets that sort of stuff. If Boris had said it while looking you in the eye and shaking you by the hand, it might mean something. But even then, I probably wouldn’t believe it.’
Twitter image posted yesterday showing Matt Hancock in his car. Mr Hancock did not respond to requests to comment yesterday
One former Cabinet Minister said that, even if Mr Hancock stayed on as an MP, he was unlikely to serve as a Minister again.
He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I do not think he will ever come back.
‘There are too many other MPs, young Tory MPs, who will be coming up for ministerial jobs.’
Mr Hancock did not respond to requests to comment yesterday.
But in his first Twitter message since resigning, noted sports fan Mr Hancock last week retweeted a message from the official England football account saying: ‘Yesssssss!!! ‘The Three Lions are Euro finalists for the first time!’