After a decade of hopping between political lily pads, Matt Hancock’s resignation marks a mis-step of large proportions.
His tenure as well being secretary through the nation’s biggest peacetime disaster noticed the fresh-faced 42-year-old elevated to one of the essential jobs in authorities.
Mr Hancock strode into the highlight with a comparatively rosy document.
Allies pointed to his capability to maintain NHS winter pressures out of the headlines.
Nonetheless, others accused him of being one thing of a political shapeshifter.
Within the 2019 Conservative management contest, Mr Hancock initially stood on a average platform.
The one time Stay supporter made a degree of flagging his opposition to suspending parliament through the Brexit course of.
Alarm bells started ringing when he dropped out of the race, switched his allegiance to Boris Johnson, and abruptly turned extra sympathetic to a muscular method with the EU.
Points round Brexit have been rapidly outmoded by the coronavirus pandemic although, with criticism and a few compliments flowing to Mr Hancock’s door.
He was a voice in cupboard arguing for tighter restrictions and an early optimist on the opportunity of vaccination as an exit route from the pandemic.
However he was additionally criticised for hospital shortages of protecting gear and struggles inside the Check and Hint system.
His public goal to succeed in 100,000 checks a day was hit, however led to accusations of showboating amid reviews of the numbers being fiddled.
Within the care sector too, his promise to place a “protecting ring” round nursing properties rang hole as 1000’s of aged individuals have been misplaced to the virus.
The then-health secretary handled these accusations with a attribute amount of tiggerish optimism, steadily cranking up the sincerity and urgent the emotional buttons to assist land his factors.
However a bitter dispute with former Downing Avenue advisor Dominic Cummings – and the revelation that the prime minister had known as Mr Hancock “hopeless” – accelerated an erosion of his credibility.
His political demise knell got here when photos of him kissing and cuddling a authorities official and long-time pal – in breach of his personal COVID guidelines – surfaced within the newspapers.
Matt Hancock met Gina Coladangelo whereas they have been each college students in Oxford within the Nineteen Nineties.
Like many in Westminster, the pair studied politics, philosophy and economics however turned buddies whereas engaged on the college radio station.
Whereas Ms Coladangelo left to pursue a profession in advertising and lobbying, Mr Hancock ventured into politics earlier than becoming a member of the Financial institution of England as an economist.
He then joined the workers of then-shadow chancellor George Osborne, ultimately changing into chief of workers.
Privately educated with a slick media model and keenness for know-how, Mr Hancock appeared each inch the David Cameron-era trendy Tory.
After being elected as MP for West Suffolk in 2010, he had grow to be a enterprise minister by 2012 and was appointed tradition secretary by Theresa Might in 2018.
Inside Westminster, he garnered a status as an enthusiastic – if bold – operator.
Digital movies of the plucky minister making an attempt his hand at varied photo-friendly actions like free-running and workplace cricket steadily edged from the inventive to the cringe-worthy.
The launch of his personal smartphone app was additionally met with mocking, as was a mooted thought for him to ship a convention speech as a hologram projected on to the stage.
Initiatives like this fed a creeping suspicion amongst a few of model over substance, and questions lingered about whether or not Mr Hancock discovered it too straightforward to shift allegiances.
These points did not trigger his downfall, however could have contributed to the conspicuous lack of public help he acquired from fellow Tories in his second of want.
The high-flyer with no security internet to avoid wasting him when he fell.