It has been almost a year since former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned from his ministerial role for breaking social distancing guidelines, to put it tactfully.
The politician resigned after footage of him kissing his aide Gina Colangelo in his office while coronavirus was at large was released by the press, and anyone with a shred of empathy will agree it is one of the more embarrassing ways to be forced out of office.
But what happened next did not betray the signs of a man humbled. No, Hancock did not leave public life with dignity, but instead embarked on a conveyor belt of rebrands, a voyage he is still embarking on despite the inevitable mockery each attempt triggers. We can only admire his thick skin.
He has yesterday revealed (again) he is writing a book about the pandemic but we could almost fill a book with his many career changes since he stopped being a minister. But we'll start with this list instead:
When Hancock set up a fundraising page for the London Marathon, he probably expected to receive the usual reaction such a page creates - a few tenners from friends and family and some "good luck Matty!" comments.
The video saw him chatting to people on a high street in his constituency who mysteriously all supported him.
One woman said: “It’s so good to see you … I think you’re brilliant." While another gave him a fist-bump.
He was - you know what we are going to say - roasted by people on social media and the video was promptly deleted on Twitter.
Jingle Bell Ball
In December last year, Hancock turned up somewhere we never imagined seeing him. No, not back in a ministerial position, but at the Capital FM's Jingle Bell Ball.
Clad in a black turtleneck, Hancock attended the music events to see Becky Hill, Years and Years, Justin Bieber and other acts he surely has no idea about perform. People understandably questioned why he was there.
Snubbed by the United Nations
In a more serious move in October, Hancock announced that he was “honoured” to accept an unpaid job in the UN working “to help African economy recovery from the pandemic and promote sustainable development”.
Hancock said he had become the special representative on financial innovation and climate change for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
But all was not as it seemed. PassBlue reported that the UN had decided not to go ahead with giving him the role. The Telegraph said they understood Hancock was told by the United Nations that it cannot appoint sitting MPs to be special representatives, and that it was forced to rescind the appointment.
In a statement to LBC Hancock added: “I was honoured to be approached by the UN and appointed as special representative to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to help drive forward an agenda of strengthening markets and bringing investment to Africa
In a statement to LBC Hancock added: “I was honoured to be approached by the UN and appointed as special representative to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to help drive forward an agenda of strengthening markets and bringing investment to Africa.
“The UN have written to me to explain that a technical UN rule has subsequently come to light which states that sitting members of parliament cannot also be UN special representatives.
“Since I am committed to continuing to serve as MP for West Suffolk, this means I cannot take up the position."
In February this year, Hancock strapped on his trademark black turtleneck once again and got podding.
And it was his account of falling in love with Gina Colangelo (his former aide who he broke social distancing guidelines that made the biggest mark, with cynical Brits heaving into bags rather than celebrating his relationship.
Matt Hancock x The Diary Of A CEO!\n\nMatt Hancock stopped by with his new partner Gina to speak to me.\n\nIt\u2019s time to find out what really happened, it\u2019s time to ask the questions we\u2019ve not had answers to; Party gate? Where did the CCTV footage come from? What mistakes did he make?pic.twitter.com/JVUiLpiDV0
Speaking at the London Crypto Club (a real thing apparently), he said: "Cryptocurrencies are a force for good in the world. Bad people are going to use all sorts of currencies and have since currencies were invented.
"That is also true of cryptocurrencies. But the advantage of a currency that is based on the blockchain is that if you get the regulatory piece right, then you get more transparency, not less, and the FBI have recently proved this in the states, which was excellent.
"So when it comes to things like sanctions, you can see the flow of money. And of course, there are dark corners that make this more challenging, but the mass market is a force for good, and so, there is a need to be making this argument."
If we get the regulation right crypto will not only accelerate growth but make financial systems more transparent and reduce crime\n\nWe must understand and harness the potential of new technologies, not fear and avoid their disruptive power\n\nMy comments to the London Crypto Clubpic.twitter.com/bTn3agfgP6
That brings us to the present day. In an interview with GB News released yesterday, Hancock confirmed he was writing a book about the pandemic.
He said: "I'm writing a book about the experience, what it looked like from being health secretary and what actually happened at the time," then plugged it another couple of times."
'I'm writing a book about the experience, what it looked like from being Health Secretary.'\n\nMatt Hancock tells Dan Wootton he is writing a book about his experience during the pandemic 'to cover important questions'.\n\n GB News on YouTube https://bit.ly/3vAYaw0\u00a0pic.twitter.com/Il1aBeyIpP
Rumours that Hancock was pivoting from politician to penman began last year, when the Daily Mail, reported he was said to be in talks with HarperCollins about writing a hubristically titled book called How I Won The Covid War, in which he would outline his “heroic” role in the pandemic.
It was said he could even get an advance of around £100,000.
Labour Party’s Angela Rayner called it “absolutely disgusting.”
“It is absolutely disgusting that Matt Hancock gets to put his spin on events - and his failures - for a bumper pay day before bereaved families get the truth about the government’s failures and mishandling of the pandemic in a public inquiry,” she said.
Looks like he finally found a publisher who wants to give him a shot...
Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock will be publishing his diaries with @BitebackPub later this year, according to @politico \n\nThe untitled (for now) book will be based on "contemporaneous accounts" of the pandemic and offer an "honest assessment" of his time in office.
The only logical conclusion for Hancock, the phoenix who rises from the ashes, get burnt again, dusts himself down and repeats the whole process ad infinitum, is to become a TikTok influencer. We look forward to it.
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