Trevor Phillips reveals Brandon Lewis has 'expressed his sympathies'

Sky News presenter Trevor Phillips reveals Brandon Lewis ‘expressed his sympathies’ after he raged at ministers for ‘defending’ Matt Hancock’s rule-breaking affair while mourners were banned from his daughter’s funeral

  • Sky News presenter Trevor Phillips yesterday told Cabinet minister defending Matt Hancock ‘where to get off’
  • Mr Phillips asked Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis why he was defending Matt Hancock for breaking rules 
  • He described how hundreds of people were banned from his daughter Sushila Phillips’ funeral on May 11
  • Just five days earlier, Hancock kissed aide Gina Coladangelo in his office, breaking social distancing rules  
  • Mr Phillips said today Mr Lewis had contacted him privately to ‘express his sympathies’ after the interview 

Trevor Phillips today revealed that Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis has ‘expressed his sympathies’ to him privately after the Sky News presenter slammed the Northern Ireland Secretary and the government for defending Matt Hancock’s rule-breaking affair – while hundreds of loved ones were prevented from attending his daughter’s funeral.

The anti-racism campaigner told Mr Lewis on Ridge on Sunday that he buried his daughter, freelance journalist Sushila Phillips, 36, on May 11 – just five days after cheating Mr Hancock kissed aide Gina Coladangelo in his ministerial office.

Mr Phillips, who chaired the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said 300 friends and family were forced to watch the funeral online because they were banned from the graveside ‘even though it was in the open air, because of the rule of 30, because of the instruction by Mr Hancock’.

A visibly uncomfortable Mr Lewis listened as the Sky News broadcaster then asked: ‘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?’ 

The emotional interview led to an outpouring of support for the presenter, with others criticising Mr Lewis and the government.  

Taking to Twitter today, Mr Phillips revealed that the Northern Ireland Secretary had reached out to him and added: ‘Thank you everyone for your condolences and your support for our family. Since Brandon Lewis and I spoke he has been in touch privately to express his sympathies; I am grateful.’ 

His daughter Sushila died ‘peacefully in her own bed’ after a 22-year battle with anorexia, her family announced on Facebook in April. They called her ‘one of the wisest, kindest, strongest and funniest people’ and ‘a force and the most beautiful soul’.

Pointing out the Government’s double standard during Sunday’s show, Mr Phillips said: ‘I want to put a private – personal question I guess, in a way – to you. Over the past two days every Cabinet minster 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 the 6th. On May the 11th 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 was in the open air because of the rule of 30, because of the instruction by Mr Hancock.

‘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?’

Sky News presenter Trevor Phillips yesterday told a Cabinet minister defending Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson ‘where to get off’ after describing how hundreds of loved ones were prevented from attending his daughter’s funeral while the Health Secretary broke rules with his mistress

Sushila died ‘peacefully in her own bed’ after a 22-year battle with anorexia, her family announced on Facebook in April. They called her ‘one of the wisest, kindest, strongest and funniest people’ and ‘a force and the most beautiful soul’

The news came less than two hours after Matt Hancock announced his resignation from the position following the emergence of video footage showing him kissing an aide in his ministerial office in a breach of coronavirus restrictions 


Mr Phillips wrote about his daughter’s battle with anorexia in March in an article for The Times in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey

Sajid Javid today announced his ‘most immediate priority’ will be ending the pandemic as soon as possible and praised cheating Matt Hancock’s record in government after the disgraced former minister was pictured flouting coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking to the media for the first time since becoming Health Secretary on Saturday, Mr Javid said: ‘I just want to start by saying I think Matt Hancock worked incredibly hard, he achieved a lot, and I’m sure he will have more to offer in public life.

‘I was honoured to take up this position. I also know that it comes with a huge responsibility and I will do everything I can to make sure that I deliver for this great country.

‘We are still in a pandemic and I want to see that come to an end as soon as possible and that will be my most immediate priority, to see that we can return to normal as soon and as quickly as possible.’

Mr Lewis then blurted out: ‘Look I absolutely accept and understand the frustration, even the anger, people have, having been rough the situations they’ve been through.

‘People across the country, I’ve lost friends whose funerals I’ve not been able to go to over the last period – that is such a tragic situation for any of us to be in, and that’s – I have to say – why its so important all of us do what we can to keep ourselves, our families, our friends, our wider community safe.

‘It’s also why what Matt did was wrong. He acknowledged that, why he apologised immediately for his behaviour and acknowledged what he did was wrong, and it’s also why he’s taken the decision that his position was untenable and distracted from the wider work that we’ve all got to do to move forward in the pandemic and out of the pandemic.’

The anti-racism campaigner is the latest public figure to criticise Mr Hancock’s double standards after DailyMail.com’s editor-at-large Piers Morgan attacked the former Health Secretary on Twitter before his resignation.  

Mr Morgan shared a picture of the Health Secretary embracing Miss Coladangelo next to one of the Queen sitting alone at Prince Philip’s funeral a month earlier.

‘I thought you said the rules were for everyone’, reads a heartbreaking speech bubble from the masked Queen, who was forced to sit through her husband’s funeral alone in line with social distancing guidelines.

Posting the meme on Twitter, Mr Morgan wrote: ‘This perfectly sums up why Hancock is toast.’ 

Mr Phillips wrote about his daughter’s battle with anorexia in March in an article for The Times in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

He revealed that Sushila – who graduated with a first class honours degree in English literature from York University in 2008, and also had a diploma in law and masters degree in English literature – had been having regular treatment at a specialist medical unit.

In his article, Mr Phillips compared his daughter’s struggles with anorexia to those described by Meghan. He wrote: ‘Though I have thankfully never sunk to the despair described by the duchess, our family has spent more than two decades watching helplessly as my older daughter battled a severe eating disorder.

Gina Coladangelo (pictured with the Health Secretary in September 2019), initially taken on by Mr Hancock as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in early 2020, is also leaving her position on the board of the Department of Health

Matt Hancock wrote a letter of resignation (pictured above) to Boris Johnson where he said the Government ‘owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down

Martha Hancock’s husband stood down from his role as Health Secretary after leaked CCTV footage surfaced of him locking lips and fondling married mother-of-three Gina Coladangelo, 43

After allowing a month to elapse, the whistleblower approached lockdown sceptics and asked them to help sell the incendiary footage to the media

‘Hours before writing these words she and I bade farewell on a familiar threshold: the specialist unit to which she admits herself periodically when the daily struggle against her demons proves just too exhausting.’

Mr Phillips recounted in painful detail his struggle to help his daughter through her ordeal – which extended to physically intervening to prevent her throwing herself out of a moving car.

He said: ‘I do know what it feels like to have to pin your teenage child to the floor of a speeding car to prevent her throwing herself out of the door. I understand what it is to hear that she may not live long enough to go to university.

‘I have met the girls with whom she shared the hellish wards reserved for the most distressed, and learnt not to look away when she tells me that I’ll never see one of them again because she has taken her own life.’

Mr Phillips said his experience meant he did not ‘take the duchess’s words lightly’ about her mental health, although he said it was ‘hard to imagine any family would knowingly ignore such distress’.  

‘Don’t wear a mask, Matt DOESN’T!’: ‘Hypocrite’ ex-Health Secretary’s rule-breaking kiss triggers wave of resentment from law-abiding Britons – with Kirstie Allsopp fuming it’s ‘one rule for him, another for us’ 

Matt Hancock’s rule-breaking affair with millionaire aide Gina Coladangelo has inspired a wave of anti-lockdown resentment after the disgraced Health Secretary undermined his own pandemic messaging.

Mr Hancock quit the government and ditched his wife of 15 years this week after the Sun newspaper splashed bombshell images of him embracing his mistress, who was hired as a £15,000-a-year aide but has since given up her position at the Department of Health. 

The scandal has sparked a tsunami of criticism, with politicians, journalists and members of the public all accusing Mr Hancock of hypocrisy after he effectively criminalised the private lives of millions and scolded those who broke lockdown while secretly ignoring his own rules.  

Public sentiment is reminiscent of the anger which erupted in May last year following Dominic Cummings’ rule-breaking 200-mile drive from London to Barnard Castle in Country Durham during the first shutdown. 

Together with growing exasperation at the never-ending cycle of lockdowns, people are taking matters into their own hands – with small retailers discouraging mask-wearing while massive anti-lockdown protests sweep through London calling for Mr Hancock’s arrest. 

Shops in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, placed signs in windows showing Mr Hancock kissing Miss Coladangelo, who studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford at the same time as Mr Hancock in the 1990s and is married to Oliver Bonas founder Oliver Tress.  

The signs say: ‘Welcome to House Interiors. Don’t wear a mask if you don’t want too (sic). Matt doesn’t’. 

Police were pictured removing a sticker put on Mr Hancock’s London home, where his wife Martha and their children live. It says: ‘Our forefathers gave their lives to keep this country free, and you’re just going to sit back and let it become an authoritarian hellhole, over a virus with a 99.9% recovery rate?’ 

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp said the incident showed how ‘it was one rule for you, another for us’, tweeting: ‘I remember footage of Hancock whipping of his mask as he entered No 10, not even keeping it on in the corridors as school children were made to do, I knew then it was one rule for you, another for us.’ 

Retailers in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, have now placed a sign in a shop window showing Mr Hancock kissing Miss Coladangelo. The sign reads: ‘Welcome to House Interiors. Don’t wear a mask if you don’t want too (sic). Matt doesn’t’

Metropolitan Police officers were pictured removing a sticker put on Mr Hancock’s home in north London, where his wife Martha and their children are living. The sticker reads: ‘Our forefathers gave their lives to keep this country free, and you’re just going to sit back and let it become an authoritarian hellhole, over a virus with a 99.9% recovery rate?’

Police were pictured removing a sticker put on Mr Hancock’s home in north London

Public sentiment is reminiscent of the visceral anger which erupted in May last year following Dominic Cummings’ rule-breaking 200-mile drive from London to Barnard Castle in Country Durham during the first shutdown

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