Trevor Phillips speaks about daughter’s funeral amid Matt Hancock row


ky News presenter Trevor Phillips opened up live on air about burying his daughter as he challenged a Cabinet minister over Matt Hancock’s Covid rule breach by kissing an aide.

Freelance journalist Sushila, 36, died in April following a 22-year battle with anorexia.

In a powerful exchange with Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, the veteran broadcaster questioned him over his former colleague’s apparent hypocrisy for embracing Gina Coladangelo in his ministerial office on May 6.

Mr Hancock’s resigned as Health Secretary on Saturday a day after The Sun published images and video of the extramarital affair that broke his own coronavirus social-distancing restrictions.

Mr Phillips told Mr Lewis he wanted “to do something I wouldn’t normally do and put a personal, private, question to you”.

He continued: “Over the past two days, every Cabinet minister, including you, has come out to essentially defend the Prime Minister and Matt Hancock

“The pictures that we saw were of an encounter on May 6.

“On May 11, my family buried my daughter who had died not of Covid but during the lockdown.

“Three hundred of our family and friends turned up online but most of them were not allowed to be at the graveside, even though it is in the open air, because of the rule of 30.

“Because of the instruction by Mr Hancock.”

Before allowing Mr Lewis the chance to respond, Mr Phillips finished by saying: “Now the next time one of you tells me what to do in my private life, explain to me why I shouldn’t just tell you where to get off?”


Mr Lewis failed to acknowledge Mr Phillips’ loss, and said: “Look I absolutely accept the frustration, even the anger, from people and the situations they’ve been through.

“I’ve lost friends whose funerals I’ve not been able to go to, that is such a tragic situation for any of us to be in, which is why it’s so important for all of us to do what we can to keep ourselves and family members safe.”

He again defended disgraced Mr Hancock, adding: “What Matt did was wrong and that’s why he apologised and acknowledged that.”

Mr Phillips is covering for Sophy Ridge on the channel’s Sunday morning politics show.

Mr Hancock has been replaced as Health Secretary by former chancellor and home secretary Sajid Javid.


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