UN withdraw job offer made to Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock will not be taking up a role at the United Nations - Credit: PA

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has had a job offer from the United Nations withdrawn.

The former health secretary announced this week that he had been appointed a special representative to the UN in an unpaid role helping African countries to recover from Covid-19. 

However, according to Pass Blue, an independent organisation covering the UN, the body will no longer be standing by this offer.

UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric said: “Mr Hancock’s appointment by the UN Economic Commission for Africa is not being taken forward. ECA has advised him of the matter.”

Nick Dearden, director of campaign group Global Justice Now reacted to the reports saying: “If Matt Hancock wants to help African countries recover from the pandemic, he should lobby the Prime Minister to back a patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines.

“If he’d done that when he was in government, tens of millions more people could already have been vaccinated across the continent.

“The last thing the African continent needs is a failed British politician — this isn’t the 19th century.”

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Mr Hancock's appointment was criticised as it was made on the same day MPs published the Coronavirus report, which blamed decisions made while Mr Hancock was in government for the severity of the pandemic in the UK. 

However, a letter the MP posted on twitter this week, UN under secretary-general Vera Songwe said that that Mr Hancock's “success” in handling the UK’s pandemic response was a testament to the strengths he would bring to the role. 

Mr Hancock had been congratulated for landing the position by MPs, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.

Mr Hancock has been approached for comment. 

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