Exile is over for Matt Hancock: Shamed former health minister is handed new role by United Nations just months after quitting Government in disgrace

  • Hancock has been named as a UN special representative
  • He will advise African nations on economic bounce back from the pandemic
  • He is thought to have won the job thanks to a close friend of Carrie Johnson
  • It comes just months after Hancock resigned in disgrace from his position as Health Secretary after his affair with aide Gina Coladangelo was revealed 

Matt Hancock made a surprise comeback last night as he was given a United Nations role just four months after resigning as health secretary.

The former Cabinet minister will advise African nations on how their economies can bounce back from the pandemic.

The Daily Mail understands he won the unpaid job thanks to Nimko Ali, a campaigner against female genital mutilation who is a close friend of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie.

Mr Hancock, who will remain an MP, was forced to resign as health secretary in June after he breached social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague.

CCTV images showed him in an embrace with Gina Coladangelo in his office in the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been given a United Nations role just four months after resigning from his government post (pictured: Hancock walks with his former aide and lover Gina Coladangelo)

Hancock tweeted his reaction to being given the new role, which comes just months after he resigned as Health Secretary

The father of three ended his 15-year marriage to wife Martha and has pursued a relationship Miss Coladangelo, a former university friend who was also married with three children.

In a resignation letter to Mr Johnson he said ministers ‘owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down’.

Last night Mr Hancock said he was honoured to become UN Special Representative on Financial Innovation and Climate Change.

He said: ‘I’m thrilled to be joining the UN Economic Commission for Africa in its impressive efforts to support Africa strengthen its economic recovery from the pandemic and the sustainability of its development.

‘I care deeply about making this happen… we share a view of Africa as a strategic long-term partner.’

Mr Hancock was a Bank of England economist before entering Parliament in 2010 and the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa said he had been awarded his new role ‘based on his economic policy expertise’ as well as his ‘in-depth understanding of government’. 

His duties will include encouraging investment in sustainable economic development working alongside organisations including the IMF and G20. 

The UN said he would also be involved at the COP26 climate change conference being hosted in Glasgow in three weeks.

Dr Vera Songwe, the UN Under-Secretary General who made the appointment, said: ‘His expertise and leadership will offer immediate and long-term impact.’

In a letter to Mr Hancock that he posted on Twitter, she added: ‘Your success on the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the acceleration of vaccines that has led the UK [to] move faster toward economic recovery is one testament to the strengths that you will bring to this role, together with your fiscal and monetary experience.’

Mr Hancock was introduced to Dr Songwe by Miss Ali, who is a Government adviser on tackling violence against women and girls.

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