Hancock's Affair With Aide

The Sun

The Sun’s world exclusive on Matt Hancock’s affair with his aide and in turn breaching his own social distancing rules led to a national public outcry and, within 72 hours the resignation of the health secretary.

The front page that went everywhere that year - from top of BBC, ITV and ITN News bulletins to online stories.

The story has had more views than any other in The Sun’s history, and as Britain's number one news brand in terms of daily, weekly and monthly reach reaching over 30 million people a month, clearly a contender for breaking news story of the year. This was an open and shut case of public interest of an MP and senior member of government breaking the very rules he had made, and behaving with extraordinary hypocrisy when the public were at home isolating and unable to hold the hands of dying loved ones in care homes and hospitals. Not just a Westminster bubble story – this had huge cut-through with the general public. The fact the minister was using public money to pay the salary of the woman with who he was having an affair only added to the story's significance. The distribution of the scoop was just as carefully planned knowing the story would have massive reach online with the words and pictures, with the print product held back to ensure that rare occurrence of the public waking up to a genuinely huge news story, and one that would develop and continue to break news. Usually, newspapers put the next day’s content on their websites at around 10.30pm, and other news outlets can then pick up the story. We put nothing online until after 1am and held back the physical copies of the print edition. We also decide not to licence any of the pictures and kept The Sun logo across every picture so that the front page had to be used - guaranteeing everyone saw it and knew the publisher. The story led to national cut-through and wall-to-wall coverage, with the story. Media journalists and commentators we're just as much interested in the journalism as the story itself. The headline was as much a part of the discussion than the picture - a tabloid scoop it could have gone for a headline of old, but knowing the public interest and the upset it would cause The Sun ran the headline straight - Hancock's Affair with Aide alongside the clear and damning picture.