Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has admitted that he was late for a Daybreak interview because he overslept. As skills minister he was going to discuss the government’s latest plans on how young unemployed people could be made more employable.
Hancock tweeted an admission of his extended slumber and has attempted to turn it into a sort of morality tale:
“I got 2 tv studio at 6:41 this am so missed 6:40 slot. You’ve got to be on time for work or there r consequences. I’ll learn from my example.”
Other tweeters have called the event “somnishambles” or “lategate”.
As Hancock’s fellow guest on Daybreak – the one who managed to wake up on time – Ian Pattison of Youth Fight for Jobs has said:
“Can you imagine my surprise when I discovered a minister whose government berates so-called ‘shirkers’, couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed to defend his own policy.
“If the minister was a jobseeker, he could lose his benefits for up to three months for such an offence. Luckily, he doesn’t have to worry about things like that. Hancock’s traineeship scheme is the latest gimmick coming out of the Tories to disguise the fact they have failed to tackle the staggering problems of unemployment affecting young people.”
It will be embarrassing for a government trying to build a shirkers vs strivers narrative. After all, it was George Osborne who told his Party Conference that they were on the side of the:
“shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next-door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits.”
Well, the shift-worker will have seen one more set of closed blinds in the dark hours of the early morning…Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.