Connect with us


Matt Hancock broke the law over appointments



Credit: Matt Hancock Instagram

The High Court has found that Matt Hancock broke the law over appointments.

The former UK health secretary didn’t comply with equality duty rules when appointing Conservative peer Dido Harding and Mike Coupe.

The race and equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust won their battle over the two crucial appointments which were made in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two judges have ruled that appointing Harding as interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection and Coupe as director of testing at NHS test and trace was unlawful.

The Runnymede Trust insisted that there wasn’t fair competition when Hancock made the decisions.

The charity was joined by campaign group the Good Law Project in their fight.

Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Swift found that the appointments breached the Public Sector Equality Duty – under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

The recruitment processes were proved to favour friends, relative and associates of senior members of government.

The High Court also agreed that making these appointments ignored the consequence for the country’s ethnic minority and disabled communities, who were dying disproportionately from Covid.

The Runnymede Trust argued this as Harding and Coupe weren’t medically trained and didn’t have adequate public administration experience.

The charity criticised Hancock’s action as “simply not good enough.”

In a statement, Dr Halima Begum and Sir Clive Jones, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust and the chair of Runnymede’s board of trustees, said: “It should not be acceptable to drop our standards during complex health emergencies when countless lives are at stake, in particular the lives of some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens.

“This is when the rule of law most needs to be upheld. This is why the rule of law exists.”

The judges declared the ruling on Tuesday following the high court hearing in December.

The Good Law Project said: “In appointing the wife of Boris Johnson’s Anti-Corruption Tsar John Penrose MP to Chair the National Institute for Health Protection, the government failed to consider the effects on those who, the data shows, are too often shut out of public life.

“The government also ignored its own internal guidance, which requires Ministers to consider how discrimination law will be complied with.”

The High Court also made it clear that the Prime Minister broke the law by appointing Harding as Chair of Test and Trace.

However there was no formal declaration on this.

In a written ruling, Singh and Swift said: “It is the process leading up to the two decisions which has been found by this court to be in breach of the public sector equality duty.

“For those reasons we will grant a declaration to the Runnymede Trust that the secretary of state for health and social care did not comply with the public sector equality duty in relation to the decisions how to appoint Baroness Harding as interim executive chair of the NIHP in August 2020 and Mr Coupe as director of testing for NHSTT in September 2020.”

Begum and Jones believe this sends a “strong message” that the government needs to take their obligation to reduce inequality “far more seriously.”



What are your thoughts?

Join the conversation on our social media:




Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Doctor Who: David Tennant and Catherine Tate to return



David Tennant and Catherine Tate are to return to Doctor Who, the BBC has confirmed.

The pair are currently filming for the sci-fi show’s 60th anniversary, which it will celebrate in 2023.

Tennant played the 10th Doctor on the time travel drama from 2005-2010, while Tate played companion Donna Noble. Tennant and Tate’s involvement means they will be reunited with returning Doctor Who head writer Russell T Davies.

Davies, who was in charge of Doctor Who when it was successfully revived in 2005, left at the same time as Tennant. Their last episode together was broadcast in 2010.

Tennant has briefly returned before, joining then-Doctor Matt Smith for the programme’s 50th anniversary in 2013.

Davies has teased fans, saying: “Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.”

Tennant and Tate’s 2008 series of Doctor Who is the most successful that the show has had since its revival in 2005, with an average audience of more than eight million viewers per episode.

Are you excited to see their return?

Continue Reading


Eurovision 2022: How Sam Ryder Turned Things Around For the UK



Sam Ryder has said the “stigma” about the UK’s Eurovision performance has finally been “destroyed” after he brought home our best result in 24 years.

The singer led the UK to second place during Saturday night’s Song Contest in Turin, Italy, with his song ‘Space Man’.

It was the the highest the UK has placed since 1998, when Imaani’s ‘Where Are You?’ finished just behind Israel’s Dana International, who won with her song Diva.

In the years since, Britain has suffered a number of embarrassment moments, receiving the dreaded “nul points” in 2003 with Jemini’s ‘Cry Baby’ and in 2021 with James Newman’s ‘Embers’.

However, the public overwhelmingly backed Ukraine, who won the competition with 631 points on the leaderboard, with the UK securing 466 points.

Winning the 2022 Eurovision trophy is a hugely emotional and symbolic victory for Ukraine in the contest’s 66th year as the conflict continues.

The nation’s president Volodymyr Zelensky responded: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe.

“We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt.”

The results had many fans in sheer disbelief on social media, while prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “incredibly proud” of Sam and how “he brilliantly represented the UK”.

You’re the winner in our eyes Sam, well done!

Continue Reading


Eurovision 2022: Sam Ryder Odds Rocket Ahead of Eurovision Final



The UK’s Eurovision 2022 entry Sam Ryder has closed in on Ukraine in the winner odds after his performance in the jury semi final.

The TikTok star blew away the audience who flocked to the Pala Olimpico arena in Turin, Italy to see the second jury semi final. The reaction to Sam’s act and his amazing performance have now got plenty of fans and experts predicting he is going to push Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra all the way on Saturday night.

Last week , Sam was sitting in fourth place in the Eurovision odds with his song ‘Space Man’ but, after his second rehearsal in Turin received a rave reaction from press over in Italy and fans and he was given a huge advantage by being drawn in the second half of the Eurovision final, he soared up to second.

The Ukraine currently have a 59% chance of winning and the UK 11%. Sweden and Italy then currently stand as third and fourth favourites at 9% and 6% respectively. Our odds have improved even more so since too as the UK have been announced to perform fourth from last, number 22, which has been the winning performance slot two years in a row.

On May 3 2022 it became exactly 25 years to the day since the UK’s last triumph in Eurovision, when Katrina & the Waves topped the leaderboard in Ireland with their anthemic track Love Shine A Light. Since then, there’s been little to shout about. The UK has always been on the wrong side of the leaderboard, with us consistently finishing at or near the bottom. And last year proved a particularly bitter pill to swallow when James Newman came last on zero points, having received nothing from either the juries or televote.

Check out Sam’s song here:

Who do you think will win?

Watch Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Grand Final this Saturday (May 14) at 8pm GMT on BBC1.

Continue Reading