Matt Hancock named as a United Nations special envoy

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Matt Hancock (Kirsty Wrigglesworth/PA) (PA Wire)
Matt Hancock (Kirsty Wrigglesworth/PA) (PA Wire)

Former health secretary Matt Hancock has been named as a United Nations special envoy.

The ex-minister said the job would focus on helping Africa’s economy recover from Covid.

It comes four months after Mr Hancock resigned from his cabinet post for breaking social distancing guidelines by kissing a colleague.

"Honoured to be appointed United Nations Special Representative," he tweeted.

"I'll be working with the UN and UN Economic Commission for Africa to help African economic recovery from the pandemic and promote sustainable development."

The MP, who resigned from government in July, posted a letter online in which Under Secretary General of the UN, Vera Songwe, praised his “success” in tackling the UK’s pandemic response.

Ms Songwe said the “acceleration of vaccines that has led the UK move faster towards economic recovery is one testament to the strengths that you will bring to this role, together with your fiscal and monetary experience”.

The announcement comes on the day a scathing report was published by MPs criticising serious errors and delays by the Government and scientific advisers that cost lives during the pandemic.

It called the failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic, when Mr Hancock was Health Secretary, was “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced”.

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