Dowden: No Further Punishment For Hancock’s Rule-Breaking Jungle Romp

Now that the dust has settled on Matt Hancock’s jungle romp, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden has written to ACoBA Chair Lord Pickles to offer the final word on the former Health Secretary’s testicle-eating rule-breaking. In a new letter published last night, Dowden agreed that Hancock had breached Business Appointment Rules by “failing to seek the Committee’s advice” before jetting off to Australia:

I agree that undertaking a series of short-term appearances on the assumption they constitute ‘one-off’ engagements should not be used as means of not complying with the Rules. It is vital that all individuals who have held Ministerial positions are seen to abide by the requirement to seek advice about any appointments or employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office.

He did, however, add that Matt’s newfound celebrity was a low-risk gig, so similar applications to the Committee in future should be “streamlined“. Good news for any other MPs who fancy bathing in cockroaches. He signed off by saying Hancock had suffered enough, and no further punishment would be necessary…

“Due to the highly visible nature of the roles and minimal risks to the integrity of government, we agree with the Committee’s advice that further action would be disproportionate in this case.”

Hancock’s spokesperson said:

“Matt’s glad they are now changing the ACOBA rules after the total muddle they got themselves into. Matt clearly followed the rules when he went into the jungle, as any cursory glance at their website demonstrates. The idea there’s a business conflict going onto the programme is absurd. Now they’re updating the rules to make that completely clear, not a moment too soon.”

Just in time for SAS: Who Dares Wins…

Read Dowden’s full letter below:

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