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The UK's new Health Secretary once shared a homophobic poem on Twitter

Matt Hancock retweeted a limerick claiming the Labour Party was "full of q***rs".

2018-07-12

After a week of Cabinet turmoil, the UK has a brand new Health Secretary - one who has previously been forced to apologise after retweeting homophobic slurs on Twitter.

Matt Hancock, 39, was announced as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care after previous Secretary Jeremy Hunt was moved to the foreign office following Boris Johnson's resignation from the government on Monday (July 9).

Mr Hancock, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, had served as Secretary of State for Department for Culture, Media and Sport since January 2018, but was previouisly forced to apologise in 2014 after sharing a homophobic poem on Twitter.

While marking National Poetry Day in October 2014, Mr Hancock wrote a limerick about then Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, which he shared on Twitter. One of his followers replied with their own limerick, which claimed the Labour Party was "full of queers" was this was the reason "the faithful have fled".

The Conservative MP then retweeted the poem to more than 17,000 followers.

Mr Hancock was criticised at the time by openly gay Labour MP Chris Bryant, who said he was "amazed" that Mr Hancock sent the "vile" slur to his followers, the Daily Mail reports.

The now Health Scretary later deleted the post, insisting the retweet was a "total accident".

He added at the time: "I wholeheartedly disagree with offensive comment in the tweet & am incredibly sorry for any offence caused."

Despite the past controversy, Mr Hancock posted a message in support of Pride in London over the weekend, writing on Twitter: "Our diversity is our strength. Today is a great day to remember & celebrate that #PrideLondon #Pride2018"