Oh dear. It's fair to say Matt Hancock isn't exactly flavour of the month in Westminster. There are plenty of MPs on both sides of the House who blame the Health Secretary for tough restrictions and failures on testing. Matters have only been made worse with the revelation that 16,000 cases of coronavirus went unreported as a result of an administrative spreadsheet error. Hancock appeared at the despatch box on Monday afternoon to face questions from MPs on the blunder.
Alas it wasn't what one could describe as a charm offensive. When Labour's Stella Creasy put to him that a week had effectively been lost as a result of the mistake and the companies responsible should be held to account, Hancock had a curious reply. He suggested that the missing tests were merely a 'small cogs in the wheel' before implying that Creasy was not her usual self – 'she's normally incredibly reasonable and sensible':
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 5, 2020
Stella Creasy threw her hands up in the air after Matt Hancock said it is wrong to pick on the small 'cogs in the wheel' in response to her question about accountability pic.twitter.com/FHdG6jQA83
Heckles followed Hancock's intervention. Mr S politely suggests this isn't the best tactic for getting people back on side...