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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Matt Hancock’s I’m a Celeb look ‘insulting’, says bereaved daughter | Matt Hancock

A bereaved daughter who received a excessive courtroom ruling that Matt Hancock’s coverage on care residence discharges at the beginning of the Covid pandemic was illegal has urged TV viewers to boycott his look on I’m a Superstar … Get Me Out of Right here!

Dr Cathy Gardner, whose father was amongst more than 11,000 care home residents in England whose deaths concerned Covid in March and April 2020, mentioned “to see him simply paraded on tv, like he’s some form of enjoyable determine, so he could make some cash and make himself into some form of pretend movie star” was “insulting” and “fully sick”.

She mentioned the producers’ determination to solid the previous secretary of state, and pay him a price reported to be within the lots of of 1000’s of kilos, was “two fingers to these of us who’re bereaved, as a result of they simply don’t appear to care about how important he was”.

Faye Harris and Cathy Gardner outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Faye Harris (left) and Cathy Gardner in April this yr after judges dominated that authorities insurance policies on discharging sufferers from hospital to care properties have been ‘illegal’. {Photograph}: Jonathan Brady/PA

Nearly 40,000 individuals have signed a petition organised by the Covid-19 Bereaved Households for Justice group demanding that ITV bosses reverse their determination, with simply hours to go earlier than the present begins on Sunday night.

“Households have been ripped aside by Matt Hancock’s actions, and turning on the TV to see him being paraded round as a joke is sickening,” mentioned the marketing campaign group, which represents greater than 6,500 bereaved households. In earlier seasons, the present has attracted 12 million viewers, however 2021 noticed an viewers hunch.

Alongside one other bereaved daughter, Faye Harris, Gardner argued in a excessive courtroom case that authorities coverage round sending hospital sufferers into care properties to release beds at the beginning of the pandemic did the “very reverse” of Hancock’s declare to have thrown a “protecting ring” round all care properties.

In April 2022, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Garnham ruled it was “irrational” for Hancock’s Division of Well being and Social Care to not have remoted hospital sufferers discharged into care properties. They mentioned Hancock’s determination to take care of discharge insurance policies that did not account for the recognized threat of asymptomatic transmission into April 2020 was “illegal”. The judges identified that the federal government’s personal chief scientific officer, Sir Patrick Vallance, had highlighted the chance on nationwide radio as early as 13 March 2020.

Gardner mentioned Hancock’s look alongside radio DJ Chris Moyles, footballer Jill Scott, and musician Boy George recommended the excessive courtroom ruling was “a whole waste of time, as a result of though he was accountable … now they’re saying, ‘Oh, nice, right here’s a complete load of cash, come and entertain individuals on tv.’”

Addressing the likelihood that Hancock will in a roundabout way be punished by viewers voting for him to endure trials involving stay creatures and consuming “bush tucker”, she mentioned: “If individuals assume that making him do silly issues on tv is a few form of penance, properly, I don’t assume so. He ought to have simply disappeared. I don’t wish to see his face on TV.”

Hancock can be releasing a £25 pandemic memoir subsequent month, and has mentioned of his I’m a Superstar look: “I haven’t misplaced my marbles or had one too many piña coladas … It’s necessary to interact with voters, particularly youthful voters, regardless of the place they’re, and present the human facet of politicians.”

Hancock is very prone to be a central witness within the Covid-19 public inquiry, which over eight weeks subsequent summer time will cross-examine politicians and officers on “how central authorities responded to the pandemic and made the important thing choices that it did”.

In a preliminary listening to final week, the lead counsel to the inquiry, Hugo Keith KC, mentioned “it can establish plainly wrongful decision-making, and important errors of judgment”.

ITV has been approached for remark.

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