Mandrake has not graced the Brits since 2014, when a PR company representing MasterCard, a major sponsor of that year’s pop music awards, expected me and other journalists to guarantee coverage of their client as a condition of attending. They even went so far as to draft Twitter messages which they asked us all to post with suitable hashtags. I very publicly told them to get stuffed.
I’ve no reason to suspect that Matt Hancock signed up to any such conditions when he attended this month’s awards, but I noted he was happy to promote the event on his own Twitter stream, saying, among other things, that it made for an “electrifying” night out.
In the latest register of members’ interests, the former health secretary declares he accepted two tickets to attend the event – presumably for him and his present girlfriend, Gina Coladangelo – to the value of £2,040.