Matt Hancock was delivering a speech on the success of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine programme at the University of Oxford’s Jenner institute when he was challenged on his record during the pandemic. Channel 4 reporter Liz Bates grilled Mr Hancock over the decision not to protect car homes effectively at the beginning of the outbreak. She also pointed out that the Conservative minister had never issued an apology for the decision.
“You still haven’t apologized for your failure to protect care home at the height of the pandemic,” pressed the Channel 4 reporter.
“Is it fair to say you are keen to take credit for other people’s success but not prepared to take responsibility for your failures?”
The Health Secretary replied: “No it is not, and I think the best approach is to take full responsibility for all things that happened.
“And as Health Secretary I do that for all the decisions I have been responsible for.”
Mr Hancock continued: “Of course, and the vaccine programme is an incredibly important programme that we learnt the lessons from.
“In the same way that we learned throughout the crisis lessons for how best to protect people.
“And we have updated the rules all the way through.
“We have been very open about that so that’s a very important part of how you handle a completely unprecedented situation.”
He continued: “England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – we drew on our collective strengths to deliver a vaccination programme.
“It was only because we worked collectively like this together as one united kingdom that we have been able to pull this off.
“The Union has saved lives and we’re safer across the whole country as a result.”
The Health Secretary made a note of telling the press conference that the UK was “safer” as a result of the union.