Don’t worry, the health secretary is here all week, and Harding has the Grayling knack of failing upwards

In Las Vegas, they would call it a residency. So shabby has the government’s performance and messaging been over the coronavirus that Matt Hancock has found himself in the House of Commons almost on a daily basis, either to answer an urgent question or to make a ministerial statement on the latest Covid shambles.

And sure enough, the health secretary was back in the chamber on Thursday to outline the latest regional lockdowns that account for about one-seventh of the country – it can’t be long before there’s just a couple of villages in Cornwall open for business that are preventing another national lockdown being declared – and to announce a triage service for A&E departments. Press 1 if you think you are going to die in the next hour. 2 if you think you have a 50/50 chance of making it to the end of the day. 3 if you have broken a leg, and stop moaning. 4 to sod off and take some ibuprofen.

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