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You can’t fault Matt Hancock’s work ethic, just everything else | John Crace

The health secretary talks in tongues while explaining why a pandemic is the time to reorganise the NHS

You can’t fault Matt Hancock’s work ethic. While most of his cabinet colleagues have used the pandemic as an excuse to slide beneath the radar, the health secretary has been front of stage almost every day. Whether it’s been taking Downing Street press conferences, giving coronavirus updates to the Commons, threatening to bang up serial liars for 10 years – Boris Johnson and Michael Gove need to watch out – or freelancing as a spokesperson for tourism in the south-west of England, Hancock has been your man.

But it turns out that even that workload isn’t enough to keep him fully occupied, as on Thursday he was back in parliament to outline his plans to completely reorganise the NHS. Perhaps anticipating what was in store, only three backbenchers were in the chamber to hear the statement, but Matt was profoundly unbothered by the lack of an audience. His eyes, which for so long have looked like hollow sockets, regained their sparkle because he was back in his element, living his best life as a junior account executive in a management consultancy. KPMG’s loss has been parliament’s gain. Or possibly vice versa.

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