Matt Hancock: why is the former health secretary giving evidence to Covid inquiry?

Matt Hancock is the first politician directly involved in the pandemic to face the inquiry

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While the ‘partygate’ scandal report seems like old news since Boris Johnson formally resigned as an MP, the overall impact of politicians’ actions during the pandemic is still very much at the forefront as the COVID inquiry continues its investigation into whether the UK was ultimately prepared.

With Boris’ pandemic decisions brought to light in the damning report published earlier this month, focus turns to Matt Hancock’s planning and response to Covid-19 in his former roles as the paymaster general between May 2015 and July 2016 and secretary of state for health and social care from July 2018 before his resignation in 2021 when his affair with aide Gina Coladangelo made headlines.

Matt Hancock is the first politician involved in the pandemic to face questions from Hugo Keith KC today, the lead counsel of the Covid-19 public inquiry, after the committee heard from former PM David Cameron, former chancellor George Osbourne and former advisor Sir Chris Witty last week.

The controversial I’m A Celebrity contestant will face a selection of questions in Dorland House for the inquiry’s committee to understand both the resilience and preparedness of the UK for the pandemic in which around 227,000 people lost their lives.

It is understood that witnesses such as Matt Hancock will return at a later date to answer further questions on other modules of the inquiry. The Covid-19 inquiry is currently only tackling module one as it reaches its tenth day.

On the inquiry’s final day on Thursday, the committee will question Nicola Sturgeon.

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