matt hancock has announced he has been appointed as a special representative to the united nations.
The former health secretary will focus on helping African countries recover from Covid-19.
This recent appointment comes four months after he resigned from his cabinet position following revelations that appeared in British newspapers that he was having an affair with Gina Coladangelo.
Mr Hancock said he was "honoured" to have been given the role, adding on Twitter : “ I 'll be working with the UN, the UN Economic Commissions for Africa to help African economic recovery from the pandemic and promote sustainable development. ” The under secretary-general of the UN, Vera Songwe, said Mr Hancock's "success" in handling the UK ’ s pandemic response is a testament to the strengths he will bring to the role.
Ms Songwe said, "The role will support Africa's cause at the global level and ensure the continent builds forward better, leveraging financial innovations and working with major stakeholders like the G20, UK government and COP26."
Mr Hancock's new role will be unpaid.
According to the UN, African countries face paying more than £300bn to recover from the pandemic.
Added to this, Hancock ’ s “ success on the United Kingdom ’ s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the acceleration of vaccines that has led the UK 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 ”.
It comes as a damning report from MPs was published on how errors and delays by the Government and scientific advisers cost lives during the pandemic.
The study, from the cross-party science and technology committee and the health and social care committee, said the UK's preparation for a pandemic was far too focused on flu, while ministers waited too long to push through lockdown measures in early 2020.
In a wide-ranging report, MPs said the UK's planning was too "narrowly and inflexibly based on a flu model" that failed to learn the lessons from Sars, Mers and Ebola.
Former chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies told MPs there was "groupthink", with infectious disease experts not believing that "Sars, or another Sars, would get from Asia to us".
Hancock resigned as health secretary in June after leaked CCTV footage showed him kissing an aide, in breach of social distancing rules.
CCTV images showed him in an embrace with Gina Coladangelo in his office in the Department of Health and Social Care.
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.
The UN was, we learn, impressed by Hancock's "global leadership, advocacy reach and in-depth understanding of government process".
Perhaps I'm being unfair, though.
Last night Mr Hancock said he was honoured to become UN Special Representative on Financial Innovation and Climate Change.
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