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Matt Hancock gives final speech as MP in the House of Commons





‘I’ve tried my hardest’, Matt Hancock told MPs as he gave his final speech in the Commons.

He also stated that the vaccine programme was ‘without doubt one of the country’s finest achievements in peacetime’.

The former health secretary and MP for Newmarket and Haverhill resigned from his cabinet position in 2021 after admitting breaking social distancing guidance by having an affair with a colleague.

Former health secretary Matt Hancock said in his final speech in the Commons that the vaccine programme was ‘without doubt one of the country’s finest achievements in peacetime’. Picture: PA
Former health secretary Matt Hancock said in his final speech in the Commons that the vaccine programme was ‘without doubt one of the country’s finest achievements in peacetime’. Picture: PA

Mr Hancock – who had the Conservative whip suspended for appearing on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here – spoke from the Tory benches on Friday after having the whip reinstated.

The member for West Suffolk said he ‘couldn’t finish without a word about the NHS’.

He told MPs: “For 18 months, I thoroughly enjoyed myself trying to improve the tech in the health service but then of course, the pandemic struck.

“And I want for one last time to say thank you to all of those who rose to the occasion and did so much to get us through, to deliver the safety that was needed, for instance, the shielding programme which isn’t mentioned as much as it should be for protecting those who were most vulnerable.

“And, of course, the vaccine programme which was without doubt one of the country’s finest achievements in peacetime. I want to thank colleagues with whom I worked incredibly closely and who helped make that happen. And some of you are heroes of the pandemic too.”

He concluded: “It is impossible to win unless you truly want to serve your country. I believe that everybody comes into this place wanting to make their country a better place.

“I’ve tried my hardest to do that for 14 years, to reach out, to try to do things differently and to try to embrace the future. It’s been an honour and a privilege and I thank you.”

Earlier in his contribution he thanked his children saying: “The impact of the scrutiny of politics, especially when people make mistakes, has a huge impact on them, and they have put up with a lot.”

He added: “But politics also, I’d reflect, is noisier and it’s harder than it was 14 years ago when I first came into Parliament. The nature of social media has made it more difficult and the nature of the world has made it sadly, more dangerous.”