Published:

Hancock quits over affair with Gina Coladangelo…

“Matt Hancock resigned from the cabinet last night after damaging details of his conduct in the affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo were revealed. The health secretary fell on his sword after fellow cabinet ministers and MPs said his position was untenable and friends told him it was the only way to save his political career. Hancock told Boris Johnson he was resigning last night after the Metropolitan Police faced fresh demands to launch an investigation into whether he broke the law by kissing and fondling his adviser while the public were banned from hugging their loved ones. Both Hancock and Coladangelo are married and each has three children.” – Sunday Times

  • Inside the plot to expose Matt Hancock’s affair: Friends talk of secret camera hidden by Chinese… or No10. In fact it was footage from his office CCTV and a whistleblower in his own department – Mail on Sunday
  • Camera that caught Hancock kiss was hidden in smoke detector – Sunday Times
  • Lord Bethell faces inquiry over sponsorship of parliamentary pass for Matt Hancock’s lover – Sunday Times
  • Gina Coladangelo’s job… and how the Tories broke a promise – Mail on Sunday

Analysis/ comment:

>Yesterday:

… as it’s revealed he used private email account for government business…

“Matt Hancock faces an investigation after using a personal email account instead of an official address during the pandemic in a breach of government guidelines. Since March last year the former health secretary has routinely used a private account to conduct government business, concealing information from his own officials and potentially the public, according to documents obtained by The Sunday Times. It means that the government does not hold records of much of Hancock’s decision-making, including negotiating multimillion-pound PPE contracts, setting up the £37 billion test and trace programme and overseeing the government’s care homes strategy.” – Sunday Times

… and Javid replaces him as new Health Secretary

“Sajid Javid was appointed as Health Secretary on Saturday night after Matt Hancock quit his role having breached social distancing rules. Mr Javid, 51, will return to lead the Covid-19 response and oversee social care reform having resigned as chancellor last year over a power struggle with No 10. Bringing Mr Javid back into government means that Boris Johnson can avoid a wider shake-up of his ministerial team following Mr Hancock’s departure. He becomes Mr Johnson’s most experienced cabinet minister, having previously run five other departments, including the Treasury and Home Office.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Cummings claims the appointment is all down to PM’s wife Carrie – Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday:

Tens of thousands of anti-lockdown protesters march on London in biggest demo yet

“Tens of thousands of anti-lockdown protesters marched through central London and towards No10 today demanding the ‘arrest’ of Matt Hancock after he was caught breaching Covid rules by kissing his married aide while preaching the restrictions to the rest of the UK. Anti-lockdown protesters were seen marching along through the capital before descending on Downing Street on Saturday as they called for ‘freedom’ and the end to all Covid lockdown regulations after Freedom Day was delayed from June 21. As well as demanding the end to lockdown, protesters brandished placards that demanded police ‘arrest Matt Hancock’ after he was caught breaching Covid safety regulations by kissing his married aide – despite asking the rest of the country to follow the strict restrictions.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Under-40s fall victim to Covid holiday ‘apartheid’ – Sunday Times
  • Covid-hit hospitals in north postpone 40 per cent of operations – Sunday Times
  • School chaos as Coronavirus cases up 70 per cent in week – Sunday Times

Analysis:

  • If we win freedom on July 19, how will our lives look? – Sunday Times

Interview:

  • Why we don’t believe any Covid variant will be able to defeat our jab completely: Creators of the Oxford vaccine Sarah Gilbert and Cath Green give a very reassuring answer to the question that haunts us all – Mail on Sunday

Comment:

Johnson ‘will urge Angela Merkel to drop demands for an EU-wide quarantine for UK tourists’

“Boris Johnson will this week face down Angela Merkel in a bid to save summer holidays, as the German Chancellor stands accused of trying to punish the UK. Germany has been pushing to impose a European Union-wide quarantine on British tourists, including those who have been double-jabbed, arguing it would protect the bloc against Covid variants. Government sources told The Mail on Sunday they fear British tourists are being unfairly punished by the EU because of the UK’s advanced ability to identify new mutations of the virus. The ‘genomic sequencing’ capability in Britain is recognised as world-leading, which means it is better at spotting new variants. Sources stressed that other countries also have variants of concern, but are not as good as identifying them.” – Mail on Sunday

Badenoch: The term ‘white privilege’ is careless and divisive

“Over the last year, terms such as “white privilege” have become part of our vocabulary. We hear celebrities talk about it, it is the subject of best-selling books and last week it was discussed in the news following the publication of a report from the Education Select Committee. But what exactly does the term mean? White privilege, as defined in the recent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED), refers to the idea that “there is societal privilege that benefits white people over other ethnic groups in some societies, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances”. The independent report, whose authors were (with one exception) all ethnic minorities, recognised that racism is still something many ethnic minorities experience, but that the term “white privilege”, far from helping to combat racism, is actually stoking divisions and marginalising the most disadvantaged.” – Sunday Telegraph

More comment:

Hard left and Blairites circle Starmer ahead of Batley and Spen by-election

“Sir Keir Starmer’s team is braced for a leadership challenge as soon as this week if he loses the Batley and Spen by-election, as leading figures on the left and Blairite wings of the party lose patience. On Thursday Labour faces the prospect of a third successive defeat in a vacated seat, after Hartlepool last month and the party’s worst ever result in Chesham and Amersham ten days ago. Its candidate in the West Yorkshire seat, Kim Leadbeater, is the sister of Jo Cox, who represented the seat before her murder by a neo-Nazi in 2016. MPs believe the contest will be seen as a referendum on Starmer. To trigger a contest that could see him removed, a challenger requires signatures from 20 per cent of the party’s MPs. With 198 MPs at present, the threshold is 40.” – Sunday Times

  • Butler denies plan for hard-Left leadership challenge against Starmer – Daily Telegraph
  • Starmer’s powerful new aide Deborah Mattinson is accused of being ‘sleeper agent’ who used government contracts to get sensitive information about the Tories – Mail on Sunday

Comment:

  • Why won’t either the Labour or Tory candidates in Batley stand up for the teacher robbed of his home, his career and his identity? Dan Hodges – Mail on Sunday

Exclusive: Britain’s election watchdog stands ‘ready’ to organise indyref2, says new chairman

“Britain’s elections regulator could agree to a future demand by the SNP to hold a non-binding referendum on Scottish independence, even if the move is opposed by Boris Johnson, the body’s new chairman has indicated. In his first interview since taking up the role, John Pullinger told The Telegraph that the Electoral Commission is not just “a body of the UK Parliament”, and would have an “independent discussion” with the Scottish Parliament if it wanted “something to be done that helps them with their democracy”. His remarks put the Commission on a collision course with Mr Johnson, who has said he would reject a request for an “irresponsible and reckless” second referendum.” – Sunday Telegraph

May’s bid for Nato secretary general job sparks fears of by-election in Maidenhead

“Maidenhead could be the next big battleground as Tory insiders say they are ‘very worried’ about a by-election in Theresa May’s seat. Talk of the former PM going for the job of Nato secretary general has prompted concerns that voters in her constituency could replicate the party’s painful loss in Chesham and Amersham. The Maidenhead seat is ‘incredibly similar’ to Chesham and Amersham, sources said, with strong views over planning reforms, and the Lib Dems trailing the Tories in second. In 2019 Mrs May won the seat with an 18,000 majority – down from 26,457 in 2017 – while the Lib Dems’ share grew by 13 percentage points. But the swing in Chesham and Amersham – from a 16,223 Conservative majority to an 8,028 Lib Dem one – has led to concerns at Tory HQ.” – Mail on Sunday

Bercow is accused of threatening the House of Commons with court action to thwart probe into his alleged bullying

“Former Speaker John Bercow was last night accused of threatening the Commons with court action to thwart an investigation into alleged bullying. Mr Bercow is said to have warned he will seek a judicial review to block a probe into claims against his conduct when he was in charge of the House. MPs said it would raise the extraordinary prospect of the former Speaker being pitted against his successor, Sir Lindsay Hoyle. But Commons sources say Mr Bercow’s action would be against Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. The Mail on Sunday revealed last week that Mr Bercow had now joined the Labour Party, a move that came as a surprise to many Labour MPs.” – Mail on Sunday

News in brief: