Kiss was tip of iceberg

Just when you might have thought they’d secretly passed a law to ban it, we’ve finally seen the resignation of a government minister.

Is it just a story about someone having an affair or does it say much more about this government?

The former Health Secretary has enjoyed extraordinary power during his time in charge of our NHS but his actions have raised many eyebrows.

There remain crucial questions about avoidable deaths in care homes and the lack of testing. There are also financial issues. How could he forget that he and his sister owned shares in Topwood Ltd which was awarded a £300,000 NHS contract?

There’s the neighbour given a £30 million contract despite having no track record in vial production and the lover’s brother being director of a private health company which received millions in government contracts.

It’s astonishing that the PM didn’t sack Hancock immediately. He allowed him to resign after letting it be known that he had his backing and ”considered the matter closed”.

That’s a classic Johnson phrase for avoiding scrutiny.

Hancock’s situation bears some comparison with the PM. Mr Johnson was censured for forgetting about £52,000 of earnings he failed to declare. He considered matters closed when questioned about Jennifer Arcuri who he helped to about £128,000 of British taxpayer’s money. He denied any impropriety but Miss Arcuri, 21 years his junior, later admitted she’d had a four-year affair with the thrice married Mr Johnson.

It’s bad enough that the man responsible for the social distancing rules that have prevented people seeing elderly relatives for months ignores them himself. How can any member of the public be reasonably challenged when it turns out our rule makers are nothing more than hypocrites?

It’s scandalous that the entire government seems incapable of distinguishing between public money and private, especially when it comes to spending ours.

All of this is bad enough, but what example does it set when the man at the top decides, not on what’s right but on what you can get away with?

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