Humiliated Matt Hancock has UN job withdrawn just days after announcing new role

Matt Hancock's new job celebrations were short lived after the United Nations has scrapped its offer.

The former health secretary was fired from Boris Johnson's cabinet for breaking his own coronavirus rules with a steamy affair caught on camera.

Mr Hancock who is still an MP for West Suffolk, took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce he had landed a role working with the United Nations.

But according to the independent and non-profit Pass Blue which reports on UN matters, the employment opportunity has been scrapped.

The MP tweeted: "Honoured to be appointed United Nations Special Representative. I’ll be working with the @UN @ECA_OFFICIAL to help African economic recovery from the pandemic and promote sustainable development."

Fellow ministers congratulated him on the position at the same time as being barraged with criticism for his handling of the pandemic, WalesOnline reports.

On Saturday however Pass Blue quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric saying: “Mr Hancock’s appointment by the UN Economic Commission for Africa is not being taken forward.

“ECA has advised him of the matter.”

Matt Hancock said the United Nations had written to him to explain that a technicality in its rules meant it could not offer him a special representative role as planned.

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The former health secretary had been due to take up an unpaid post in the UN Economic Commission for Africa to assist countries on the continent to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Reacting to the reports, Nick Dearden, director of campaign group Global Justice Now, said: “It is right for the UN to reconsider this appointment.

“If Matt Hancock wants to help African countries recover from the pandemic, he should lobby the Prime Minister to back a patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines.

“If he’d done that when he was in government, tens of millions more people could already have been vaccinated across the continent.

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“The last thing the African continent needs is a failed British politician.

“This isn’t the 19th century.”

The original announcement was criticised as it came on the same day a damning report from MPs was published on how errors and delays by the Government and scientific advisers cost lives during the pandemic.

In a letter posted on Twitter by Mr Hancock on Tuesday, the under secretary-general of the UN, Vera Songwe had originally said that the West Suffolk MP’s “success” in handling the UK’s pandemic response was a testament to the strengths he will bring to the role.

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