A bereaved daughter who gained a excessive court docket ruling that Matt Hancock’s coverage on care dwelling discharges initially of the Covid pandemic was illegal has urged TV viewers to boycott his look on I’m a Movie star … Get Me Out of Right here!
Dr Cathy Gardner, whose father was amongst greater than 11,000 care dwelling residents in England whose deaths concerned Covid in March and April 2020, mentioned “to see him simply paraded on tv, like he’s some sort of enjoyable determine, so he could make some cash and make himself into some sort of pretend superstar” was “insulting” and “fully sick”.
She mentioned the producers’ choice to solid the previous secretary of state, and pay him a price reported to be within the tons of of hundreds 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”.
Virtually 40,000 folks have signed a petition organised by the Covid-19 Bereaved Households for Justice group demanding that ITV bosses reverse their choice, 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 stoop.
Alongside one other bereaved daughter, Faye Harris, Gardner argued in a excessive court docket case that authorities coverage round sending hospital sufferers into care properties to unlock beds initially 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 dominated 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 choice to keep up discharge insurance policies that didn’t 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 danger 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 court docket ruling was “a whole waste of time, as a result of although he was accountable … now they’re saying, ‘Oh, nice, right here’s an entire load of cash, come and entertain folks on tv.’”
Addressing the likelihood that Hancock will ultimately be punished by viewers voting for him to endure trials involving stay creatures and consuming “bush tucker”, she mentioned: “If folks assume that making him do silly issues on tv is a few sort of penance, nicely, I don’t assume so. He ought to have simply disappeared. I don’t need to see his face on TV.”
Hancock can also be releasing a £25 pandemic memoir subsequent month, and has mentioned of his I’m a Movie star look: “I haven’t misplaced my marbles or had one too many piña coladas … It’s vital to interact with voters, particularly youthful voters, regardless of the place they’re, and present the human facet of politicians.”
Hancock is extremely prone to be a central witness within the Covid-19 public inquiry, which over eight weeks subsequent summer season will cross-examine politicians and officers on “how central authorities responded to the pandemic and made the important thing selections that it did”.
In a preliminary listening to final week, the lead counsel to the inquiry, Hugo Keith KC, mentioned “it would establish plainly wrongful decision-making, and important errors of judgment”.
ITV has been approached for remark.