Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s attempt to make a full return to public life has failed miserably following uproar around his job offer at the United Nations (UN). After being appointed as an adviser to African nations less than a week ago, Hancock has already had the offer withdrawn because of a technicality. MailOnline has the story.
The shamed ex-Health Secretary, who stepped down after his affair with aide Gina Coladangelo in June, was told his role as a UN special representative was “not being taken forward” in an embarrassing climbdown for all involved.
The unpaid job offer was revoked on a technicality just days after it was offered, following stinging criticism by leading figures across Africa and U.K. opposition parties.
Mr Hancock, 42, had planned to balance his roles as a Tory backbencher while working with the international aid giant, after he was offered the role by General Vera Songwe for his “success” in handling the U.K.’s pandemic response.
But on Friday, a UN spokesman confirmed that Mr. Hancock’s appointment was not going to be “taken forward” after it emerged sitting Members of Parliament could not simultaneously serve as UN special representatives. …
Speaking on the role, Mr. Hancock told MailOnline: “I was honoured to be approached by the UN and appointed as Special Representative to the Economic Commission for Africa, 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.
“I look forward to supporting the UN ECA in their mission in whatever way I can in my Parliamentary role.”
MailOnline understands Mr. Hancock controversially won backing for the job thanks to Nimko Ali, a campaigner against female genital mutilation who is a close friend of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie.
Worth reading in full.