After the damning report into the government’s covid response, it might shock some that Matt Hancock (for it is he) has a job helping nations through their Covid crisis.
The study, from the cross-party Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee, said the UK’s preparation for a pandemic was far too focused on flu, while ministers waited too long to push through lockdown measures in early 2020.
In a wide-ranging report, MPs said the UK’s pandemic planning was too “narrowly and inflexibly based on a flu model” that failed to learn the lessons from Sars, Mers and Ebola.
Former chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies told MPs there was “groupthink”, with infectious disease experts not believing that “Sars, or another Sars, would get from Asia to us”.
Hancock quit as Health Secretary in June after he was exposed for having a lockdown-breaking affair.
He was caught on CCTV breaking Covid social distancing rules by kissing aide Gina Coladangelo in his office.
The former Health Secretary has been made the Special Representative to the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa.
Mr Hancock said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in its impressive efforts to support Africa strengthen its economic recovery from the pandemic and the sustainability of its development.
“I care deeply about making this happen not only because of the strong economic opportunity but because we share a view of Africa as a strategic long-term partner.”