Matt Hancock scandal: Robert Buckland defends Boris Johnson for not sacking former Health Secretary

The Justice Secretary spoke on The Great British Breakfast

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The Justice Secretary has defended Boris Johnson for not sacking Matt Hancock following the scandal surrounding the Health Secretary last week.

Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary after he was pictured in an embrace with aide Gina Coladangelo last month, which broke his own coronavirus rules.

Has somebody taken responsibility? Yes, they have.

Speaking to Darren McCaffrey and Rosie Wright on The Great British Breakfast, Robert Buckland said that “the matter was dealt with, very clearly.

“Matt Hancock rightly concluded that, because of what had happened, he couldn't carry on with credibility and he's no longer the health secretary. And that is a clear demonstration of the situation.”

Darren, however, felt his question on why Boris Johnson did not step up and sack Matt Hancock: “We know the health secretary had admitted he'd broken the rules, surely, and he's the one that helped draw up the rules. Surely the Prime Minister must see that that is a sexual offence.”

Mr Buckland responded: “I really don't think that there's too much to dwell upon here. I think the decision was the right one. I think that there is absolutely a very strong case about the need for those who make the rules to follow them. And that's why we have a new health secretary.”

The Justice Secretary continued to defend Boris Johnson, adding: “I think the Prime Minister has led us through an incredibly difficult time. I think it was no doubt on everybody's mind the desirability of making sure that the health secretary, who'd also been involved right from the beginning, carried this through to the end.

What does it take in Boris Johnson's government to be sacked?

“Has somebody taken responsibility? Yes, they have.”

Darren continued to push Mr Buckland, following other controversies surrounding Cabinet ministers, asking the Justice Secretary: “What does it take in Boris Johnson's government to be sacked? How far do you have to go to damage trust in public life?”

The Conservative MP responded: “Matt Hancock made huge mistakes in his personal life with regard to what happened. And he realised that that had to read across directly to his ministerial responsibilities, that personal life became public in an extremely awkward way because of this leaked footage.”