Published: 10:47, 11 June 2021
| Updated: 15:23, 11 June 2021
If Dominic Cummings' evidence was what in old cinematic terms was dubbed the A feature, detonating explosive claims and high drama, then Matt Hancock's could have been classed as the B.
If the Health Secretary's four-and-a-half hour grilling was not quite as compelling as Cummings’ testimony it had its moments, not least in terms of what he had forgotten.
Among them was his inability to recall whether he had told the Prime Minister that throwing a protective shield around the elderly care sector was more of an aspiration rather than something that was being put in place immediately.
The health secretary’s inability to remember cropped up on other occasions.
He was acting like the Arséne Wenger of politics - the former Arsenal manager who in post-match interviews routinely claimed not to have seen contentious incidents
All in all, the Health Secretary probably did as much as he could to stave off calls for him to quit.
Whether the forensic nature of a full public inquiry will see his account unravel remains to be seen.
Pushing the boundaries
Nothing gives MPs palpitations as much as the prospect of the boundaries of their constituencies being changed - or even worse, scrapped altogether.
So there will have been some nerves jangling this week as the Boundary Commission set out its latest proposals for a major revamp of parliamentary constituencies.
But as far as Kent is concerned, those jangling nerves will have been soothed by the announcement that while there are some interesting new boundaries, the county is not going to lose any of its seats - in fact, it is to get an extra seat.
The obvious question is how this is consistent with a general consensus that rather than having more MPs, we should perhaps have fewer. This was the aim of the former Prime Minister David Cameron, who pledged to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
To meet that pledge the commission devised plans that it felt met the brief.
Three years ago, the commission came up with a re-organisation that did just that and in Kent, one seat would have to go - Faversham and Mid Kent.
This plan didn’t get off the drawing board; in fact, it didn’t even get on the drawing board and was discreetly dropped after Cameron left office.
The report by the Boundary Commission for England is the latest development in a decade-long process which has previously failed to change the parliamentary map. This time the expectation is it will go ahead, with new constituencies finalised in 2023.
The key difference is that rather than reducing the Commons to 600 seats, as planned in since-abandoned reviews from 2013 and 2018, this version keeps the current 650. England will get 10 additional seats with the south east getting the lion’s share at seven.
Kent’s newest seat would be called the Weald of Kent and it’s pretty vast. The most southern part of it is the Isle of Oxney and the most easterly point is Saxon Shore. It also incorporates Headcorn and Tenterden, which it steals from Ashford.
Going back east, two new Thanet seats would be created. Out goes South and North Thanet to make way for...East and West Thanet with the former encompassing Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs.
No-one can complain about the lack of consultation – there will be two chances to have your say before the boundary commission recommends going ahead with the plans.
However if the changes are not agreed by MPs by 2023 when an election could be called, voters and candidates will contest the ballot on existing boundaries.
If they are agreed, it will probably trigger something of a political bun fight – in a county where the Conservatives generally hold the upper hand, the Weald of Kent looks on several layers to be about as safe a seat as you could get.