MATT Hancock has been dubbed the "Death Secretary" as public anger spills over about the UK's excess death rate.

New figures put the UK's rate of excess deaths during the pandemic at the highest in the world.

The findings are based on countries with comparable data.

A total of 59,537 more deaths than usual have been recorded across the UK since the week ending March 20 - before lockdown began.

This equates to 891 people per million.

The overall number is higher than anywhere else in Europe and second only to America, according to analysis by the Financial Times.

READ MORE: UK has world's worst coronavirus death rate, analysis suggests

This morning Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, laughed and grinned during an interview about his role in tackling the pandemic on Sky News.

The appearance provoked strong reactions from viewers and the Johnson ally has now been nicknamed the 'Death Secretary' on social media.

WATCH: Matt Hancock laughs his way through interview on testing failures

During the interview, Hancock defended the UK Government's progress, saying work to provide continued protection is moving at "just at the right speed".