Tag Archives: affair

Did the media delay Matt Hancock ‘affair’ story to keep Labour’s useless leader in place?

Hancock and Starmer: it seems evidence of the former’s affair was held by a Tory-supporting newspaper in order to bolster the latter’s position in the polls, because Starmer is considered a better advert for keeping the Tories in power than Hancock.

Here’s a disturbing new wrinkle in the story of Matt Hancock’s affair with Gina Coladangelo and his fall from the UK Cabinet.

According to Jeremy Corbyn’s former spokesman Matt Zarb-Cousin, The Sun – a member of the UK’s mass media that insists on calling itself a newspaper while consistently failing to meet the standards required – had evidence of Hancock’s affair for a considerable period of time before publishing it.

He reckons that… periodical… sat on the CCTV image, waiting for the best moment to use it – a moment that would create a political advantage for its own bosses and their opinions.

So the images – taken by a CCTV camera that had been moved from its original angle – were made on May 6, but The Sun didn’t publish them until nearly two months later, on the weekend before the Batley & Spen by-election.

Zarb-Cousin reckons the intention wasn’t to support Labour and its candidate, Kim Leadbeater (The Sun supports the Conservatives politically) but to ensure that the Labour Party remained stuck with a useless party leader in Keir Starmer – who is doing more harm to the UK’s official Opposition party from the inside than any Tory ever could (Starmer’s future as Labour leader was in doubt as pre-election polling showed Labour could lose the formerly-safe seat but he seized on the wafer-thin majority of 323 votes won by the party to claim a huge resurgence in support):

Zarb-Cousin puts forward convincing evidence:

There can only be one reason a Tory would want to keep an Opposition leader in position, and that is because they believe their own position in government is made safer by him being there.

Of course this puts Starmer in an untenable position because action to keep him in place by the Tories undermines any authority he has as a force to remove them from power…

… but we all know, now, that he won’t do the honourable thing and quit because he wants power for himself.

Does he just want it for its own sake, or is he actually following a plan to destroy the Labour Party? I don’t know.

Does it matter? No.

In the distorting hall of mirrors that is the Westminster media, we can only rely on what we see.

And, seeing that a Tory-supporting rag withheld information until it could be used to support the Labour leader, we must conclude that he is unfit for the job and must be removed.

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POLL: Will people break Covid-19 ‘guidelines’ – amid the rise of the Delta variant – because of Hancock’s affair?

It would be just the excuse that Boris Johnson needs, wouldn’t it?

Covid-19 is back on the rise, across the UK, due to the arrival of the Delta variant that Johnson refused to keep out; he kept our borders open to let it in instead.

But look! Along come pictures of Matt Hancock breaking the rules to have an affair with a former college friend he had installed as his adviser at the Department of Health.

Won’t that trigger another round of rule-flouting, in line with what happened after Dominic Cummings ran off to see that mythical optician in Barnard Castle last year?

That would be just handy-dandy for Johnson, who could then blame rising Covid cases on public stupidity rather than having to admit that he did the wrong thing, yet again.

The idea of the public doing such stupid things is already being touted in the media so he’s probably gearing up his press machine to say it already.

There’s just one snag: because Johnson has already forgiven Hancock, he would be a hypocrite to blame anybody who copied the Death Health Secretary.

I don’t think that would stop him but it is important for the rest of us to bear in mind.

Now you’re thinking about all of the above, shall we have some polls?

Source: Matt Hancock kiss: Covid families warn it could undermine efforts against virus – BBC News

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Matt Hancock is incompetent, utterly corrupt and hypocritical. Judge JOHNSON by what happens to him

Lover boy: what do you think attracted Gina Coladangelo into a social distance-busting affair with Matt Hancock? It’s hard to see the incentive from this image.

This is a test of Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Matt Hancock has appeared to be Teflon-coated ever since he was first appointed as Health Secretary in 2019.

He immediately set about corrupting and discrediting the position (which some might consider a hard job, after his Tory forerunners stank up that office in their own ways). I’ll go into that shortly.

The current allegations are that he corruptly appointed a college friend, Gina Coladangelo, to a non-executive directorship in the Department of Health, where he then had an affair with her – breaking social distancing rules in the process.

So he was abusing his power in order to bypass the selection process to get his choice. Oh, but wait:

A government spokesman said Ms Coladangelo’s appointment had been “made in the usual way” and had “followed correct procedure”.

If “the usual way” is bypassing fairness in order to appoint cronies, we might be more inclined to accept this explanation. Was “correct procedure” the emergency rule that the government used to dodge competitive tendering to give Covid-19 contracts – and huge amounts of public money – to Tory cronies?

He was also abusing his own social distancing rules by having an affair with this woman.

And he was a hypocrite because he had criticised Professor Neil Ferguson for breaking the rules to have an affair, then deliberately did the same thing himself:

Mr Hancock called Prof Ferguson’s actions “extraordinary”, adding that social distancing rules were “there for everyone” and were “deadly serious”.

Let’s add these latest indiscretions to the list already accumulated by Hancock, shall we?

First, perhaps we should discuss the firm run by his in-laws that he got onto the NHS procurement list and that made him a major shareholder right before it received a big NHS Wales contract.

Perhaps he’s counting his lucky stars, today, that it wasn’t a firm run by relatives of his wife?

His policies caused thousands of Covid-19 deaths in care homes.

He claimed nearly £1,000 of public money for software to improve his image on the internet.

He failed to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS medical staff – and then lied about it. He fed us a lie that there was never a PPE shortage.

He broke the law by keeping details of Covid-19-related contracts with companies run by Tory cronies secret.

He broke his own 10pm pub curfew because he considers himself to be above the rules he imposes on the rest of us.

After promising that care homes would enjoy regular Covid-19 testing, he failed to provide it.

He lied about hitting the 100,000-a-day Covid-19 tests target.

He liedrepeatedly – about causing the deaths of 40,000 care home residents.

He created a “fast-track” system to award Covid-19 contracts to companies run by Tory cronies.

He got his vaccine strategy from a Hollywood movie.

He blamed young people for causing a rise in Covid-19 when the real culprit was his government policies.

He lied that suicides had decreased during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, they were on the rise.

He lied that the government was merging its failed contact-tracing app with one developed by Apple and Google.

He received £100,000 in donations from horse racing organisations – and questions were asked about how strongly this influenced his decision to open Newmarket to horse racing during the early-2020 lockdown.

And now, this affair.

Hancock’s offences are legion. So is his incompetence. But Boris Johnson has stood by him throughout all of the above – possibly in the knowledge that, as long as Hancock is around, Johnson himself won’t take all the blame for the decisions of his government.

In times past, a cabinet minister like Hancock would have been off to “spend more time with his family” the moment a whisper of an indiscretion or lack of integrity made it into the newspapers.

That hasn’t happened yet with Hancock – but for how much longer can Johnson resist demands to sack his floundering flunkie?

The longer he delays, the more incompetent and weak Johnson will make himself seem.

Source: PM must sack Matt Hancock after affair claims – Labour – BBC News

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Gavin Williamson used to know details of every Tory’s intimate affairs. What about his own?

Lawyers for Gavin Williamson have refused to answer questions from the Guardian over his departure from the firm [Image: Vianney Le Caer/Rex/Shutterstock].

Theresa May’s reluctance to support Gavin Williamson’s story about his departure from a previous employer after an affair speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

The timing couldn’t be worse, as a Tory employee in Scotland just got the sack for a sexual assault on a fellow worker in his own previous job. In light of this, Mr Williamson cannot afford any doubt over his own behaviour.

But that is exactly what he has created.

We are told that Mr Williamson attended a meeting to discuss his future at fireplace firm Elgin & Hall after a “flirtatious relationship” that he says amounted to a couple of kisses. It occurs to This Writer that, if those moments were consensual, it wasn’t a lot of the employer’s business.

If they weren’t, then a huge can of worms is open. That’s why the Guardian wants to know whether the woman involved in the affair reported Mr Williamson’s behaviour to her line manager, and the nature of the terms in which he left the company.

If there is anything dodgy about Mr Williamson’s past behaviour, then other Tories may feel justifiably aggrieved that he has been privy to the details of their own indiscretions.

Could he have gained high office by exploiting his knowledge of their behaviour – while hiding information about his own?

It’s an uncomfortable question – but one that Mrs May’s reticence forces us to ask.

Theresa May repeatedly declined to say she believed her defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, told her the truth about why he left a fireplace firm after a reported affair with a colleague.

Sources close to the company, which employed Williamson as a managing director, [said] he attended a meeting to discuss his future after colleagues became aware of his relationship with a junior member of staff.

The former chief whip, tipped as a possible prime minister, took the extraordinary step of giving an interview to the Daily Mail to talk about the “flirtatious relationship” he had with the woman when he was at Elgin & Hall, based in North Yorkshire.

Williamson told the Mail the fling “never went further” than sharing a kiss with the woman “a couple of times” and that it “stopped as suddenly as it had started”. It is understood he informed the Cabinet Office before deciding to speak to the newspaper.

Lawyers for Williamson have refused to answer questions … over whether the woman reported his behaviour to her line manager, the terms on which he departed and whether he received a payoff.

May, who was speaking to reporters during her trip to China, was asked whether she was confident Williamson had told her the whole truth about his departure from the firm. The prime minister declined to answer directly.

Source: Gavin Williamson: PM declines to back his account of ‘office affair’ | Politics | The Guardian


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MPs’ shocking behaviour is par for the course in Cameron’s government

Feeling a bit peaky, David? But the revelations about your Tory friends and Liberal Democrat partners should hardly come as a surprise!

Feeling a bit peaky, David? But the revelations about your Tory friends and Liberal Democrat partners should hardly come as a surprise!

It must have been very difficult for David Cameron, returning from his spectacularly ill-timed holiday in the sun to find that his colleagues had been having a much better time than he has – at home.

It seems that he returned to “crisis talks” at Downing Street, where aides told him of a “sensational love affair” which has potentially significant political implications for him. Apologies for the hyperbolic language involved, but this information comes from the Daily Mail.

The newspaper said it could not disclose the identities of the people involved in these shenanigans, or any details of the relationship, for legal reasons, so the speculation machine has probably gone into overdrive and by the time this reaches your screen, The Sun has probably already disclosed the names of the co-respondents.

For those of us who aren’t that clued-up, it’s great fun to speculate. The paper said they are middle-aged figures, the affair has now concluded, and it does not involve anyone serving in the Cabinet.

Who could it be? Longtime readers of this blog will know that Vox Political has long harboured hopes of a Michael Gove legover crisis – or indeed a Michael leGOVEr crisis (see what we did there?) – but in all honesty this seems unlikely until medical evidence can prove that he is compatible with a human female.

So who, then? Nadine Dorries and Nigel Farage? Peter Bone and a human being? Doubtful. Boris and… Boris and-

Hmm.

It’s probably best not to pursue that line of inquiry. Far more interesting to sit back and wait for the ‘poshed-up’ version of the Jeremy Kyle show, in which all will be revealed.

With the curtains closed, of course – not as the badge of a serial skiver, but simply to avoid the shame of having to admit watching an episode of Kyle.

The worse news is, this wasn’t the only story breaking about government misdeeds. It seems that Cameron’s Liberal Democrat Coalition partners have been playing “pork barrel” politics (yes, it’s the Daily Mail again) by diverting taxpayers’ money into key Liberal Democrat-held constituencies.

We now know that a £2 billion scheme to refurbish roads, pavements and bridges in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency has been reversed, in a deal with private business that took the project off the government balance sheet. A private finance initiative? We all know that PFI projects don’t turn out well for anyone involved other than the companies, so Clegg may have given himself a shot in the foot, rather than a shot in the arm.

The Mail also reports dodgy dealings by Danny Alexander. Apparently Beaker insisted on extra funds for mountain rescue teams, a VAT cut for ski lifts and the retention of the state subsidy for the Cairngorm Mountain Railway – all in his Highlands constituency.

And Lib Dem Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael (who?) apparently forced the abandonment of plans to cut the coastguard service, affecting his Orkney and Shetland constituency, claiming it was “a Coalition matter”.

So it must have been very difficult indeed for the comedy Prime Minister to return from holiday and learn of such appalling behaviour.

Difficult, but not a surprise.

Let’s face it – it’s little different from the way they behave when he’s at work.

Phone hacking, Leveson and the AC/DC affair

Certain people seem to be forgetting that the Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press was partly prompted by a newspaper’s interference in criminal investigations after a schoolgirl was murdered.

It is understood that reporters from the News of the World (I don’t know how many of them did it) hacked into Millie Dowler’s mobile phone, listened to voice messages left on it, and then deleted them, allowing new messages to be left and illicitly monitored, and leading her parents to believe that the teenager, who had been killed by Levi Bellfield, was still alive. This act also hindered the police investigation into what had happened.

Rebekah Brooks, a close friend of Conservative MP David Cameron – who later became leader of the Tories, and Prime Minister in 2010 – was editor of that newspaper at the time. The New York Times alleged that, if the allegations were true, then it was possible Mrs Brooks knew about the hacking and allowed it.

I am a newspaper reporter – and was editor of The Brecon and Radnor Express for a while before running my own online news business for a few years. I know the scale of our respective operations was vastly different, but I can promise that I always knew how my reporters were getting their stories. If I didn’t know, I asked.

Mrs Brooks was followed as editor of the News of the World by one Andy Coulson, who went on to become Conservative Party Communications Director and then Director of Communications for the Prime Minister (when David Cameron assumed that role in 2010). He had taken up the Conservative Party position after resigning from the newspaper over the phone hacking affair. He had been subjected to allegations that he was aware his reporters were hacking into the telephones of private individuals, including celebrities.

The Andy Coulson/David Cameron (or AC/DC, as I propose to call it from now on) relationship is the important issue here.

The main question behind the Leveson Inquiry has always been this: Did David Cameron allow a criminal, who used illegal methods to monitor the activities of others, into the heart of the British government?

This would have been a colossal error of judgement – possibly an unforgivable one.

The editor of The Independent seems to have forgotten that this is what it’s all about. Responding to a letter from the Inquiry, Chris Blackhurst claimed that Lord Justice Leveson was “loading a gun” that he was preparing to fire at the newspaper industry.

He told the BBC it was “a point by point demolition of the industry”, describing it as a “diatribe” raising criticisms that did not bear any relation to practices at his “end of the market”.

This is a man who badly needs to get over himself. Serious questions have been raised about the behaviour of our national newspapers, and if the Inquiry has found that they are justified, then they need to be addressed.

He does not know the full extent of the Inquiry’s findings. The letter he received is a standard part of inquiry procedures and gives notice of possible criticism, offering those concerned a chance to respond before a conclusion is reached. They are one-sided because positive findings do not necessitate a warning.

And we should not gloss over the fact that Mr Blackhurst has broken the rules by making the complaint. The letter he received was confidential and those who receive such correspondence are obliged to keep them that way and not discuss them openly.

By whining about it, Mr Blackhurst has made Leveson’s point for him.