Jeremy Hunt spent some 115 minutes closeted with Theresa May today. According to media sources such as Laura Kuenssberg, May intended to sack him and he ‘argued passionately’ for his job.
According to one Number 10 source, he cried.
In the end, May’s face-saving measure of allowing him to keep his job with an amended title, so she could avoid the admission that she spent almost two hours trying unsuccessfully to fire him, could be a disaster for our elderly and vulnerable.
By giving the most damaging Health Secretary in history an additional brief for social care, she has extended his reach – a reach that has only been disastrous for the NHS.
With social care already coming apart at the seams because of government cuts, the system does not have the resilience that the NHS had built up over years of Labour investment and will be unable to endure his mix of routine dishonesty, planned neglect and toxic arrogance.
That means an even more rapid and complete collapse, with a disastrous knock-on effect – again – for the NHS.
May’s inability to sack Hunt disgraces her and reveals – as did the rest of her ‘reshuffle’ – her abject weakness.
But, as usual with this most poisonous government, those who really suffer from their incompetence and malevolence are the vulnerable and the already hard-pressed.