Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for Mr Hancock to “resign immediately” as the fallout from Friday’s ruling shows no sign of fading. Martin Chamberlain, a High Court judge, said Mr Hancock failed to comply with a public procurement law that requires the Government to publish contract awards within 30 days.
One man tweeted: “Matt Hancock resign immediately. The ‘man’ has to go.”
A second said: “His ‘unlawful’ behaviour certainly breaches the PM’s demands in the Ministerial Code that he ‘uphold the highest standards of propriety.
“Hancock should resign.”
And yet a third said: “Hancock should be sacked not resign. However he’s in on a much bigger plan so I’d guess this will be fluffed over. He’ll do a press conference making excuses.
Others were scathing in their review of Mr Hancock’s handling of the contracts and included the hashtag #Resign in their posts.
One wrote: “Matt Hancock’s awarding of Covid contracts illegal. #Resign #EnoughIsEnough.”
Another man said the minister should be fired if he refused to step down.
He added: “Anyone else acting unlawfully in the workplace would. #resign.”
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One woman questioned “what is the point of having a court of law” if the health secretary remains in his top position.
Mr Hancock is due to appear on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One on Sunday where he will face a grilling on his handling of the Government’s coronavirus contracts.
Judge Chamberlain said the public were entitled to know the details of the agreements between No10 and manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE).
At the start of the pandemic last spring, the Government scrambled to secure adequate supplies of PPE for medics and nurses on the front line.
He said: “The Secretary of State spent vast quantities of public money on pandemic-related procurements during 2020.
“The public were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded.”
Following the High Court ruling on Friday, a Change.org petition was set up calling for Mr Hancock to step down.
The woman behind the bid wrote: “Matt Hancock is not fit, safe, nor can he be trusted to hold the position of health secretary.”
More than 5,700 people had signed the petition by Saturday evening.