“It’s too rash, it has to be satirical. I’m speechless.”
Matt Hancock was compared to fictional character Alan Partridge after an unusual video was uploaded to Twitter on Saturday.
The former health secretary, who resigned in June after emerging that he violated social distancing guidelines by kissing his aide, kept a relatively low profile over the summer as his marriage fell apart.
Now the Tory backbencher is re-emerging in the world of politics and has posted a 50-second video online where he meets and greets his constituents at Haverhill.
With upbeat music in the background, Hancock looks a bit off as he punches one member of the public while the other touches his face lovingly.
Safe to say, it didn’t go down very well online.
Anti-Brexit campaigner and author Femi Oluvole commented: “150,000 people died … the worst violation of the COVID lockdown rules of the entire pandemic …
“And this guy (along with 100 other Tories) is going to walk back to parliament at the next election as if nothing happened because they’re in the safe seats. #MakeVotesMatter!”
Others couldn’t believe it was real, with one account tweeting: “This is so cringe. It must be satire. If they think it’s done them any good, I’m speechless.
Some accounts didn’t miss a beat and immediately compared it to the political satire show The Thick of It – or Alan Partridge.
The phrase “Accidental Partridge” began to appear all over Twitter, implying that Hancock’s awkwardness embodied Steve Coogan’s character Partridge, a broadcaster who lacks significant social skills.
Coogan describes Partridge as a Little Englander with ring-wing values, and he has become a cultural testament to what should not be in a broadcast.
Even the Twitter account Accidental Partridge – which holds clips of awkward public appearances – recognized Hancock’s video.