Matt Hancock accused of being a 'liar' and told to resign after claiming he 'protected' care homes from the start

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Saturday 16 May 2020 08:45

Usually during the daily press briefings, a minister will odten get themselves into hot water going off-script during a particularly gruelling question from a journalist or member of the public.

But yesterday, Matt Hancock managed to make himself a (wry) laughing stock all by himself – while reading out part of his actual planned out speech.

He said:

I want to tell you what we've been doing to protect people in care homes throughout the crisis.

(From 2 March to 1 May 2020, there were 12,526 care home deaths involving coronavirus.)

He continued:

Right from the start, it's been clear that this horrible virus affects older people most. So right from the start we've tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes.

This was accompanied by a bizarre circle gesture, and the clarification that the government set out the "first advice in February" and "strengthened it throughout", making sure care homes have the "resources they need".


While there was "advice", the usefulness of it is questionable.

As Keir Starmer revealed during PMQs this week, as recently as 12 March the government was claiming that it was "very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected”.

There have also been consistent reports of care workers struggling to access the necessary equipment to protect themselves.

People were quick to point out that Hancock's interpretation of the facts is somewhat subjective... in other words, he was accused of lying.

Many pointed out all the ways the government has been failing care homes thus far, no matter what they say.

Hancock also claimed that nurses had received a "significant pay rise" last month, implying this was government action based on the current situation, when it was actually part of a deal agreed in 2018.

He refused to say whether nurses would get a pay rise post-pandemic, after a leaked Treasury report proposed a two-year public sector pay freeze.

Matt Hancock was one of the many Tory MPs who effectively voted against giving nurses a pay rise in 2017