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Matt Hancock: Awkward moment Health Secretary doesn’t realise he’s live on Sky News with Kay Burley

Matt Hancock started his morning with a blunder today as he suggested the Sky News camera be re-positioned just as he was broadcast to thousands of viewers.

The Health Secretary stuttered as he said ‘shall we aim it at the at this building’ while broadcaster Kay Burley tried to begin their interview at 7am. 

Mr Hancock then suddenly walked out of shot as Ms Burley desperately tried to regain control of the situation. 

He responded ‘hello, how are you,’ and folded his arms as the veteran broadcaster added: ‘We’re great, we’re live on the telly at the moment.’ 

It is the latest embarrassment for Mr Hancock after it was revealed the Prime Minister had branded him ‘f***ing hopeless’ in texts to adviser Dominic Cummings.

The Health Secretary stuttered as he said ‘shall we aim it at the at this building’ while broadcaster Kay Burley tried to begin their interview at 7am

In today’s awkward appearance, Ms Burley said ‘hello, Mr Hancock’ as the camera panned round to fix onto the Government minister, who was now standing in front of another building. 

Mr Hancock, seemingly still not realising the broadcast had begun, addressed the cameraman, saying ‘there you go’. 

Ms Burley had to reiterate Mr Hancock was live on air. She said: ‘We’re live on the telly at the moment, it’s Kay Burley talking to you.’

She then launched into her questions which included asking the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care when two jabs will mean Britons no longer have to quarantine.  

The Health Secretary, who has been in the post for three years, has suffered a slew of accusations and embarrassing revelations over the last month aimed mostly at his handling of the pandemic.

Most recently Mr Hancock was caught in a toe-curling encounter as he was forced to insist that he ‘doesn’t think’ he is ‘f****** hopeless’.

WhatsApps revealed by Mr Cummings included brutal assessments by the PM at the height of the crisis in March and April last year – including repeatedly branding Mr Hancock ‘hopeless’ over PPE and testing and suggesting Michael Gove would have to take over.

In one exchange from March 27 last year, Mr Cummings criticised the Health Secretary over the failure to ramp up testing. Mr Johnson replied: ‘Totally f****** hopeless.’ He then tried to call his senior aide three times without managing to get through.

Mr Hancock, seemingly still not realising the broadcast had begun, addressed the cameraman, saying 'there you go'

Mr Hancock, seemingly still not realising the broadcast had begun, addressed the cameraman, saying ‘there you go’

Another from the same day saw Mr Cummings complain that the Department of Health had been turning down ventilators because ‘the price has been marked up’. Mr Johnson said: ‘It’s Hancock. He has been hopeless.’

Mr Cummings leaked his texts with the Prime Minister after launched attacks on Mr Johnson, his fiancée Carrie Symonds and Mr Hancock over their personal conduct during an appearance before MPs earlier this month.

In the seven-hour-long evidence session he said the Health Secretary ‘should have been fired for at least 15 to 20 things, including lying’.

He also alleged Mr Hancock had lied to the PM over the disastrous policy of not testing older people for Covid before they were discharged from hospital into care homes.

Mr Johnson has since attempted to play down the emergence of his private WhatsApps and insisted he has ‘complete confidence’ in Mr Hancock. 

Elsewhere in this morning’s Sky news interview, Mr Hancock confirmed ministers are looking at how to scrap the requirement for people to isolate for 10 days on return from an amber list country.

He said he is ‘in favour of moving forward in this area’ and replacing quarantine with daily testing.

‘This hasn’t been clinically advised yet – we’re working on it. We’re working on plans to essentially allow the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe.

‘After all, that’s the whole purpose of the vaccination programme, that’s why it’s so important that every adult goes out and gets the jab.’

Asked if these plans could be in place as soon as August, Mr Hancock said: ‘We’ll get there when it’s safe to do so.’  

It is the latest embarrassment for Mr Hancock after it was revealed the Prime Minister had branded him 'f***ing hopeless' in texts to adviser Dominic Cummings

It is the latest embarrassment for Mr Hancock after it was revealed the Prime Minister had branded him ‘f***ing hopeless’ in texts to adviser Dominic Cummings

He yesterday said No10 could not press ahead with the plan for 31.3million Britons just yet because they are waiting for experts to analyse data from a pilot scheme to see if ‘it will be effective’. 

Mr Hancock confessed that he hopes progress will be made ‘soon’, with sources saying family holidays may be back on from August. He told BBC Breakfast: ‘We’re not ready to be able to take that step yet, but it’s something that I want to see and we will introduce, subject to clinical advice, as soon as it’s reasonable to do so.’ 

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland claimed on Sunday that ministers were looking to relax quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated. He told the Andrew Marr Show the data on double vaccinations is ‘still developing’ but added: ‘It looks great, it looks really encouraging, we’re trying to be as flexible as we can.’

Fully-jabbed Israeli citizens wanting to travel abroad must take two tests — one three days before boarding their plane on the way home, and the other when they touch down. They must also show border control staff proof they have been vaccinated on an official app.         


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