5 of the most cringe moments from Matt Hancock's News Agents appearance

5 of the most cringe moments from Matt Hancock's News Agents appearance
Matt Hancock clashes with reporter during podcast appearance: ‘Don’t interrupt me’

Not content with fading into obscurity, Matt Hancock has returned to the headlines.

The former health secretary, who resigned for breaking his own Covid guidelines and had the Tory whip removed from him for going on I'm A Celeb, appeared on The News Agents podcast yesterday, where he discussed the state of his former party, his leaked WhatsApp messages and more.

It was a wide-ranging interview, as they say in the trade.

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Here's what happened:

1. Isabel Oakeshott

Hancock was quizzed on why he gave Oakeshott access to his WhatsApp messages when she was writing his memoir Pandemic Diaries. She later, of course, exposed many of these messages to the Telegraph who published a series of stories about them.

"What on Earth were you thinking?" Jon Sopel asked.

Hancock said he believed "in the rule of law" and had signed an NDA.

He called the leak "a betrayal" of trust and said he didn't want to give it "the oxygen of publicity".

"With hindsight" he agreed it was an error of judgement to give her the messages but he said he had known her for years and didn't see it coming.

As for answering questions about the specific messages, Hancock said he would not comment on them until the Covid inquiry.

2. Getting challenged on breaking Covid rules

Next, when Lewis Goodall tried to bring up the infamous breach of Covid guidelines, Hancock was having none of it.

He said he came on the show to talk about the future of the Tory party, not his past and that he had been forced to resign for "falling in love".

When Goodall reminded him that he broke his own guidelines he got annoyed.

“Stop. Stop. Stop. Lewis. Don’t interrupt me. Because I’m going to say something I’d like you to listen to: I’m a human being,” Hancock said.

He then went on to add that he is “not interested” in having people “go over old coals”.

“It’s not fair and it’s not right because we are humans too.”

3. Moaning about scrutiny

Sopel then suggested Hancock was a particularly "accident-prone" politician, given he is rarely out of the news for various gaffes.

Hancock moaned he gets "a colossal amount of scrutiny".

It is almost as if he was one of the most powerful politicians during one of the most challenging times in British history.

4. Claiming people come up to him on the street to tell him how great he is

But apparently everyone loves him.

"Ten people will come up and say, they say things like 'thank you for the vaccine', 'I think you did a good job on the jungle', 'I think you did a good job on Covid', loads wanting selfies, and quite a lot saying 'you don't deserve the amount of s**t that you get'".

He added for every ten people who react like that, he has one who is "less pleasant". But, he added, these people are "massively outnumbered by the number of people who come and want a selfie".

5. Criticising his colleagues

Elsewhere in the interview, he slammed the National Conservatism Conference and said ideas expressed in it were not in keeping with Conservatism.

"I saw a lot of the news that came out of it, and I thought that if these voices, if these arguments, win a debate within the Conservative Party, then I think the Conservative Party is finished," he said.

He added: "And what I really dislike is this sort of sense of an attempt at a Trumpian takeover."

Hancock claimed "much more extreme voices" and "more shrill debate" had "come to the fore" in recent years.

He added: "In my time in Parliament in my own 12 years, and in my time in politics, just under 20 years, there's been a big shift in how politics has happened.

"I think it's bad for political discourse. I think it's bad for the country."

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