Comedian Michael Spicer has torn apart the health secretary’s latest appearance in front of cameras at 10 Downing Street.
Matt Hancock’s attempts to answer questions from journalists on a new app designed to help with contact tracing during the coronavirus outbreak became the feature of Spicer’s new video in his series ‘The Room Next Door’.
In it politicians are ridiculed by Spicer, who pretends to be an official watching press conferences whilst giving advice to them using an earpiece.
In the latest Hancock stumbles over questions about the new NHSX smartphone app, which is hoped will help ease the lockdown.
But such technology has been marred with controversy about use of data, and how it will work practically to help slow the transmission of Covid-19.
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One journalist asked if encouraging use of such an app, currently being trialed in the Isle of Wight, is producing contradictory messaging for the government which is currently encouraging people to stay at home.
‘So… erm, erm, no… is the short answer’, says Hancock as he stutters.
As Hancock stumbles over his words, failing to concoct a sentence, Spicer tells the politician: ‘No, no, no, hold it together Matt, try to say the words rather than letting them dribble out of your wobbly mouth.’
Spicer tells the politician to continue to emphasise the key messaging ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ but in the clip it becomes clear that for Hancock staying on message is a challenge.
. – Credit: PA
‘Unless you’re in the Isle of Wight,’ says Hancock.
‘Take that back you gibbering omlette,’ fumes Spicer.
‘But even in the Isle of Wight you should stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives,’ continues the minister.
‘I think our message of stay at home, save lives, but go out and use our app is starting to confuse people’, notes Spicer, as Hancock continues to stumble.
‘You do realise that the more you try to explain things on which you have no expertise, the more it becomes apparent that your level of success should not have gone any further than that of a branch manager at PC World.’
During the video the politician is also ridiculed for looking down the camera lens throughout the briefing, giving a ’10 Rillington Place vibe’, and signing off like he is ‘auditioning for The One Show’.
The video provoked thousands of responses in just a short time period of appearing online.
‘I just choked on my coffee watching this’, tweeted Elizabeth Bandeen.
‘You sometimes just don’t know whether to laugh or cry with these guys do you?’ said Mike Stubbs.
Aimmi Dunsmuir posted: ‘I’m laughing. But also want to cry’.
‘If Matt Hancock was the branch manager of a Currys PC World,’ pondered Mark Maquisard, ‘maybe he’d be able to get Boris Johnson a discount and free delivery and installation on a fridge to hide in.’