Lockdown lessons

By Baroness Claire Fox | 07 July 2021

There’s a lot to say on the Batley and Spen by-election; according to locals, the Matt Hancock saga was significant. Some traditional Tory voters were so outraged at enforcer-in-chief Hancock’s double standards, they wanted to punish their own party. Labour leavers started off wanting to punish their own party, as in Hartlepool. But the ‘one rule for us, one rule for them’ narrative was just a final hurdle they could not get over to vote Conservative.

Few of us are interested in the sexual shenanigans of leading politicians in 2021. But the public remembers that the former health secretary was petty-minded and inflexible about other rule-breakers. As a minister, in response to the Derbyshire police fining two women for the ‘crime’ of driving for a walk and a coffee, Mr Hancock warned: ‘Every time you flex the rules it could be fatal’. No wonder voters are bitter about him infringing his own authoritarian rules.

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