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Matt Hancock was branded “totally useless” by an angry LBC caller as he hosted his first radio show.
The former health secretary demanded that the caller, named John, was muted after he attacked the ex-minister’s record in office during the Covid pandemic.
The focus of the show had initially been on the Tory leadership race, but the caller launched into a tirade over Mr Hancock’s time in charge of the Department of Health (DoH).
John said: “You were totally useless as a Health Secretary!
“There’s three and a half million people suffering from the effect of rare diseases that are in hell at the moment.”
During his stint as Health Secretary, Mr Hancock was accused of ignoring calls from campaigners to keep the UK in the European Reference Networks (ERN), which provide members with expert knowledge and treatment for rare diseases. Britain left the ERN after Brexit in 2020.
Mr Hancock responded by saying he had allocated “huge resources” to finding cures for rare diseases during his time in the Cabinet.
But John continued his rant, prompting Mr Hancock to wave to his producers to mute the caller.
A friend of the former cabinet minister defended his actions, telling The Sun: “The guy was wrong, off topic and wouldn’t stop talking so Matt had no option but to signal to the team. It’s completely standard in broadcasting when someone’s hogging the airwaves.”
Mr Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, resigned from his role as Health Secretary in June 2021 after CCTV footage showing him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo was leaked to The Sun newspaper.
Last week, he announced his backing for Rishi Sunak to become Tory leader and Prime Minister.
He tweeted that Mr Sunak has the “plan, the character & the experience” to win the next general election.
In a video, Mr Hancock said: “I know all of the candidates, excellent candidates, and I think that Rishi Sunak is the best-placed out of all of them to take this country through difficult times”.