Petition calls for Matt Hancock to resign as West Suffolk MP
- Credit: PA
A petition has been launched to try and get Matt Hancock removed as MP for West Suffolk - or to force him to do the "honourable thing" and stand down.
The MP has resigned as health secretary after he was caught on camera kissing an aide, in breach of the social distancing rules that he told the public to abide to.
However, he remains Member of Parliament for West Suffolk, a constituency including the towns of Newmarket - known as the national home of horseracing - and Haverhill.
Mr Hancock has the backing of the West Suffolk Conservative Association (WSCA), but a petition hoping to oust him as West Suffolk MP has been started by Newmarket resident Jody D'Arcy.
Outlining the petition, the mother-of-two wrote: "If you don’t accept his excuses and want change now, if you believe we deserve someone with more integrity and a focused commitment to our local communities...please sign and share this petition! A collective voice has power! Let’s use it!"
She expressed her anger over Mr Hancock breaking the rules when she couldn't even have a wake for her grandad after his funeral in January 2021.
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"I went to my grandad's funeral and we couldn't even have a wake for him," she said.
"For me that's an essential part of the grieving process, to sit down and discuss and to talk about all the good times and remember him.
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"I feel for people who have lost loved ones and they have followed the rules to the T."
Mrs D'Arcy, 40, who works in IT, said he had "no chance" been an effective local MP, drawing attention to his pledge that Newmarket would have a cinema - and the town is still waiting.
"He's done next to nothing for the town," she said.
With the revelation of his relationship with his aide being just the latest issue for Mrs D'Arcy, she said: "Why should we be seen as the ones who will sweep this under the carpet and just accept it? That's really why I started the petition."
The petition has more than 200 signatures.
Mr Hancock and his parliamentary office have been contacted for a response to the petition and these claims.
We were referred to this statement by the WSCA: "Following Matt Hancock's resignation as secretary of state for health and social care, WSCA has taken soundings.
"We wish to express our support for Matt, who has served our constituency tirelessly over the past 11 years.
"Matt has given us a heartfelt apology for recent events, has faced up to the mistakes he has made on both a human and a professional level and expressed sincere contrition.
"We want to thank Matt for the extraordinary job he has done as health secretary leading the country through the pandemic and overseeing the rollout of the world's best vaccination programme, and look forward to working with him as he continues to represent his constituents in Parliament."