Tory minister Matt Hancock confronted over Boris Johnson’s U-turn on Northern Ireland stance

Tory minister Matt Hancock confronted over Boris Johnson’s U-turn on Northern Ireland stance

Matt Hancock’s having a tough time with past statements of late, particularly those said or inspired by Boris Johnson.

After describing the prorogation of parliament as going against everything those who took part in D-Day fought and died for, he then proceeded to stand by Boris Johnson’s prorogation rather than lose the whip.

Last night he found himself once again “politically wedgied” thanks to his prime minister.

Question Time’s Fiona Bruce quoted some of Boris Johnson’s former remarks about the effects which he predicted Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal would have upon Northern Ireland. She asked Mr Hancock:

When Boris Johnson said: ‘Leave Northern Ireland behind as an economic semi-colony of the EU, damage the fabric of the union with regulatory checks and even customs controls between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

No British Conservative government could or should sign up to any such arrangement…. How is that not what he’s doing now?

You can really see the cogs turning for the health secretary, and towards the end of the clip appears to be on the verge of giving up with his attempted response entirely, as he says:

Well that isn’t in the deal … In order to be able to leave, we’re leaving the whole country leaving together within the UK customs arrangement, as opposed to leaving the whole country within the customs union.”

Cheers for clearing that up for us, Matt...

Naturally, people felt wholly reassured by this robust defence of what could be one of the most important pieces of legislation in our country's history. MPs will vote on it tomorrow having had two days to analyse it.

While we're not sure if Mr Hancock has reached Grayling levels yet, we'll add this one to the list of cock-ups.

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