The Westminster moral vacuum is wearing thin - Gina Davidson

The Scottish Parliament is now in recess for the summer, but the political vacuum in Scotland appears to have been filled by a moral one in Westminster.

Matt Hancock was forced to resign as health secretary.
Matt Hancock was forced to resign as health secretary.

The revelations about married former health secretary Matt Hancock’s affair with his political aide, Gina Coladangelo, has shocked and angered the nation, even if it did not cause much more than a murmur in No10, where an apology was initially enough for Boris Johnson, a man with his own share of infidelities, to declare the matter closed. Why be a hypocrite after all?

Of course it was never going to end there. Mr Hancock’s actions compared with his words – those by which the rest of us were living – was too much hypocrisy for any political career to bear. So he is gone, replaced by Sajid Javid, a man whose friends say is hot on detail, as opposed to being “hot for de tail” like his predecessor.

Personal morality is a strange beast isn’t it? The deaths of thousands of elderly people because of a flawed plan to put hospital patients into care homes which did not have enough PPE, wasn’t enough to warrant a resignation – either in Westminster or indeed in Holyrood.

Neither was the court ruling that health contracts were awarded unlawfully to pals’ businesses. Throw in a some hands, lack of space and sucking face however, and the outcry is such that letters are exchanged and the backbenches await.

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Meanwhile Mr Javid is back on the frontline, and his first words addressing Parliament yesterday were to reassure that the roadmap to Covid freedom was on track, although in almost the next breath he praised his predecessor saying he believed he would have more to offer to public life (not quite saying out loud “when this has all blown over”).

He forgot the detail of reading the room. After almost 18 months of lockdown and restrictions the public is in no mood for the indulgences of those who hold power over us.

Mr Hancock’s travails, added to all those of the PM and his former adviser Dominic Cummings, are wearing thin. The public is impatient to move on. If reopening dates are set back further, then the UK government should expect a serious revolt on its unsanitised hands.

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