Richard Madeley asks Matt Hancock if he's housing five Ukrainian refugees to 'rebuild reputation'

GOOD Morning Britain's Richard Madeley asked Matt Hancock if he was taking in five Ukrainian refugees in a bid to rebuild his battered reputation.

The politician said he would “warmly welcome” people into his home fleeing war-torn Ukraine and said he was signing up to help out, along with around 43,000 other Brits who have signed up.

However, Richard suggested the MP of trying regain some popularity after the bombshell revelation of his affair last year.

Ex-Health Secretary Mr Hancock said: "I will be signing up and opening my home to support our Ukrainian friends. I urge everyone who is able to help to register and welcome a family in desperate need."

He “strongly welcomes” the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme – where a host will have to guarantee a room for a minimum of six months and they will be paid a tax-free £350 "thank you" lump sum each month.

“I will be signing up and opening my home to support our Ukrainian friends,” he added.

But Richard was quick to point out that people may be dubious of his intention behind the good gesture.

The host said: “We all know there will be cynics watching this and people who will go online, on Twitter, on social media and say that the reason you’re doing this is to help rebuild your reputation after you had a bad political fall and you’re sort on in the wilderness and that’s why you’re doing this to basically improve your standing.

“What would you say to people who say that?”

But Hancock denied this and added: “This came from me doing constituency work, which doesn’t often get talked about, but all MP’s do it and nearly all of them really enjoy it.”

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He explained that he was asked on BBC Radio Suffolk yesterday morning if he planned on taking in refugees and he confirmed that he would.

Hancock added: “I didn’t do this in order to do it so publicly, but if by me coming on and us having this discussion, if I can encourage one more person to sign up to this scheme by coming on and talking to you, then it will be worth it.”

It comes after Hancock resigned after humiliating footage of his romantic clinch with a senior aide was published by The Sun.

There was pressure from Tory colleagues over images of him kissing and cuddling Gina Coladangelo in a breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Support for the minister had been dwindling after it emerged he told his wife he was leaving her shortly after he learned his affair with married Coladangelo was about to be exposed.

Martha Hancock had no idea her husband was having an affair until he broke the news and announced their marriage was over, reports the Times.

Last month former Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted his Covid affair did not break lockdown laws – and that he was just a man hopelessly in love.

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But he told the Diary Of A CEO podcast: "I resigned because I broke the social distancing guidelines. By then they weren't actually the law, they were the guidelines.

"But that's not the point. The point is they were the guidelines that I'd been proposing. And that happened because I fell in love with somebody."

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