Camilla Long www.thetimes.co.uk (Extract)
Why is personal character now so irrelevant, when it used to be what really mattered? Read the ministerial code and nearly all of it is a joke: of the seven principles of public life, Hancock has breached every one in this incident alone. No “high standards of behaviour” for him; no being “professional” with colleagues; no being transparent about the people who are working for you when you’re shipping in your old Oxford mates for shags in the office. No effort to make sure “no conflict arises” — just what was he doing even hiring the PR and marketing director of Oliver Bonas, a crime far greater in my view than the open-mouth kissing? In what way does hawking tatty candle baskets to Sloanes at railway stations qualify you for advising on Test and Trace? And at what point did she actually become his mistress: before or after he gave her the job?