Matt Hancock Sacked From UN Covid Advisor Job Days After Taking It
Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has lost his job at the United Nations less than a week after he celebrated his appointment online.
On Tuesday, October 12, Hancock took to Twitter to say he was ‘honoured’ to have been appointed as a special representative for the United Nations, where he was set to work ‘with the UN and UN Economic Commission for Africa to help African economic recovery from the pandemic and promote sustainable development’.
Vera Songwe, the Under Secretary General of the UN, praised Hancock for his ‘success’ in tackling the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, and described the ‘acceleration of vaccines that has led the UK move faster towards economic recovery’ as a ‘testament to the strengths’ he would bring to the role.
The decision to appoint Hancock was slammed by many people online, with one person responding: ‘It’s quite outstanding that when you are incompetent in a very important job you can still get appointed for another important job.’
By Friday, October 15, the UN appeared to have done a U-turn on the offer.
Speaking to Pass Blue, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said: ‘Mr. Hancock’s appointment by the UN Economic Commission for Africa is not being taken forward. ECA has advised him of the matter.’
Hancock has not commented on the loss of the job at the time of writing, October 16, though the United Nations has wiped all traces of the Conservative MP from its website.
Social media users wasted no time in making jokes about the quick turnaround, with many sharing memes and GIFs to sum up Hancock’s time in the role.
Responding to the news online, one person wrote: ‘At least someone in the UN has sense.’
Hancock’s appointment as special representative came after he resigned from his role of Health Secretary in June, when images revealed him having an affair with an aide.
In a letter shared online, Sonwe said she wanted to appoint Hancock off the back of his ‘global leadership, advocacy reach and in depth understanding of government processes through your various ministerial cabinet roles’.
She added: ‘The role will support Africa’s cause at the global level and ensure the continent builds forward better, leveraging financial innovations and working with major stakeholders like the G20, UK government and COP26.’
Hancock stressed the need to ‘take this moment to ensure Africa can prosper’ in his acceptance letter, which is still live on his social media feed.
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