Politics

Matt Hancock gets UN post advising African countries on economies post Covid

MATT Hancock is making a shock rapid return to frontline politics – advising the UN on how developing countries can bounce back after Covid. 

The former Health Secretary has been made the Special Representative to the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa.

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Matt Hancock (pictured at the London Marathon earlier this month) has been appointed to a new UN post advising African countries on how their economies can bounce back after CovidCredit: ©Karwai Tang

The unpaid post will see him advise African nations on how they can rebuild their economies after the devastating pandemic.

He has been tasked with trying to get private companies to invest in African countries as part of efforts to move ‘beyond aid’.

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.”

It comes a day after a damning 150-page report by MPs found that government blunders cost thousands of lives in the pandemic.

The blistering assessment found that the first lockdown came too late, thousands of elderly Brits died because of the care home testing disaster, and the test and trace scheme was “slow and chaotic”.

Sajid Javid (pictured) was made Health Secretary after Matt Hancock was forced to quit for breaking lockdown rules

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Sajid Javid (pictured) was made Health Secretary after Matt Hancock was forced to quit for breaking lockdown rulesCredit: PA

But the report, by the health and science select committees, did praise Mr Hancock for kickstarting the testing programme by setting a target for 100,000 swabs a day.

They said: “Given the painfully slow increase in the availability of testing before April 2020, we consider that the impact of the Secretary of State’s target to have been an appropriate one to galvanise the rapid change the system needed.”

Mr Hancock quit as Health Secretary in June after The Sun exposed his lockdown-breaking affair.

Mr Hancock, 43, was caught on CCTV breaking Covid social distancing rules by kissing aide Gina Coladangelo in his government office.

Speaking at the time, he said: “The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis.”

Coronavirus in numbers – UK records 34,574 more cases


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