THERE’S nothing quite like a sex scandal, or “romp” as the Sun is inclined to say, to titillate the chattering classes and inflame public indignation. That Matt Hancock has been breaching Covid guidelines by having an affair with his aide is beyond doubt. By hypocritically ignoring his own government’s health restrictions Mr Hancock placed himself and his family in an embarrassing and somewhat distressing situation.

The real story, however, is of the breathtaking arrogance and nefarious corruption demonstrated by the English Health Secretary in this instance and, it would appear, throughout this pandemic.

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He failed to declare the appointment of his alleged mistress, Ms Coladangelo, as an unpaid adviser last March before appointing her as a non-executive director of the department of health – a clear case of patronage that his Prime Minister would be proud of. In addition, Ms Coladangelo’s brother is an executive at a private healthcare company that just happens to have won a string of NHS contracts since the start of the pandemic.

Mr Hancock has been found guilty of breaking the law over the failure to publish details of dozens of contracts awarded without competition for PPE, and previously faced accusations of cronyism after it emerged that a firm in which he and his family own considerable shares had been awarded NHS contracts.

In other words the Health Secretary has been mired in a fetid pool of corruption and nepotism long before details of his alleged affair became public. It speaks volumes of the present Westminster government that neither Mr Hancock nor the Prime Minister appear to even acknowledge possessing a moral compass let alone adhering to values that are based on honesty, dignity and decorum. That lies, cheating and financial malfeasance are commonplace in this Conservative government should make even the stoutest defender of the Union in Scotland re-appraise their unquestioning loyalty to political procedures and practices that would have shamed Tammany Hall.

Mr Hancock has now resigned. We can only hope that his hubristic and indolent Prime Minister will soon follow his example.

Owen Kelly

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YET another demonstration of the inability make decisions and lack of leadership from the Prime Minister. Why is Boris Johnson disappointed to receive Matt Hancock’s resignation?

As the architect and deliverer of the Covid rules and regulations, he has had to accept that he made a mockery of these rules – and made fools of all those who have striven to obey them to the letter, often at great personal cost.

His resignation should not have been an option as Boris Johnson should have sacked him immediately and perhaps even withdrawn the party whip as a result of his total lack of respect for the ministerial code, the law and the people.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

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MATT Hancock’s personal life is not my business but his public proclamations are.

It seems that our Westminster government, in defending their overall Covid failures, are primed to bellow: “vaccine roll-out, vaccine roll-out, vaccine roll-out...”, a relatively late successful addition in the Covid fightback. Until this phase the country was one of Europe’s worse pandemic strategists.

Now, a successful vaccine system appears to confer forgiveness for all the past failures, all the inequalities and all that Westminster stands for.

It seems that this government remains popular (at least in England), and that is the right of the voters. In Scotland we look on in uncomfortable wonder as One Britain One Nation recruit schoolchildren as propaganda cannon-fodder!

How I wish for the day when I can criticise my government in an independent Scotland!

Peter Barjonas

MICHAEL Russell quoted “the great words of John Adams” about independence “beginning government anew from the foundations and building as we choose” (Don’t fall into trap Tories have set for Yes movement, June 26). This is the same John Adams who signed the Declaration of Independence despite his own estimate that only one-third of Americans supported independence, while one-third of Americans were “Tories” (that’s his word for them, not mine), and one-third weren’t sure one way or the other.

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This is the John Adams who, seeing roughly 50% support for independence and the potential to increase that through campaigning, would wonder, what’s stopping you?

Dave Coull
Findowrie, near Brechin

A FEW weeks ago Douglas Ross was trying to impress us all by is commitment to government standards. He was leading the parliamentary campaign against the First Minister of the Scottish Government, claiming that she had broken the Ministerial Code and that she should resign because she had given parliament the wrong date (just a few days out) from the date of a meeting on the Salmond affair.

Ross wanted us to believe that he was motivated entirely by the desire to ensure that elected governments worked strictly within standards established to ensure proper ethical conduct.

Now, either he has particularly high standards in this particular respect, and is half-blind so that he can’t see what the Johnson government is up to; or he is a hypocrite of the highest order. What exactly is his opinion of Hancock’s conduct? Does he agree with Boris that it was OK? Is he no more than a puppet of Boris and is not allowed to talk about it? Or is he just trying to hide from his responsibilities again? What is it with him?

Andy Anderson