Matt Hancock's first London Marathon bid sparks torrent of online abuse on charity website

Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary in June and is planning to run the postponed London Marathon in October Credit: Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary in June and is planning to run the postponed London Marathon in October

The former Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to run the London Marathon in aid of a Suffolk hospice but people were donating cash to leave abusive messages on his fundraising page.

Mr Hancock, who is the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, resigned in June after an affair with senior aide was revealed in a newspaper and he was captured on CCTV video in his office cuddling her in breach of social distancing regulations at the time.

He has kept a low profile since the scandal broke but posted online that he was going to run the London Marathon for the first time in October to raise cash for the St Nicholas Hospice Care, which operates in his constituency.

However the Just Giving website was taken over by people donating to the charity but using the opportunity to leave an insulting comment. The offending messages were later removed but more than £3,000 had been raised by 2.30pm on Thursday 2 September.

The West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock is to run the London Marathon in October in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care

Before they were removed, dozens of abusive messages, some littered with obscene language, were posted on the website.

One message read: "You and your super elite best buds are the worst people to represent anything yet here you are representing a country & now a hospice? This can’t be real."

Another posted: "Given your staggering levels of incompetence, will you have people stationed round the route to tell you which way to run?"

Each message was accompanied by a £2 donation to the hospice. ITV News Anglia has approached St Nicholas Hospice for a comment.

On the website Mr Hancock posted: "St Nicholas Hospice Care is a fantastic charity working in my constituency of West Suffolk, who look to give help, support and advice to those who are living with long-term and life-threatening illnesses.

"The Hospice sees around 2,000 people each year and any money donated will makes a real difference to people's lives.

"This is my first London Marathon and I'm really excited to take part and raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care. I have already started my training and hope to keep you all updated with my progress."