Britain's former health secretary Matt Hancock has seen a United Nations job offer withdrawn.

Mr Hancock this week announced he had been appointed a special representative to the UN in an unpaid role.

The former cabinet minister, who resigned in June after admitting he broke coronavirus restrictions during relations with an aide, said he would be helping African countries to recover from Covid-19.

But according to Pass Blue, an independent organisation covering the UN, the offer will not be taken up by the organisation.

The media group quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric saying: "Mr Hancock's appointment by the UN Economic Commission for Africa is not being taken forward.

"ECA has advised him of the matter."

This afternoon, Mr Hancock said the United Nations had written to him to explain that a technicality in its rules meant it could not offer him a special representative role as planned.

The former health secretary had been due to take up the unpaid post in the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

In a statement, Mr Hancock said: "I was honoured to be approached by the UN and appointed as special representative to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to help drive forward an agenda of strengthening markets and bringing investment to Africa.

"The UN have written to me to explain that a technical UN rule has subsequently come to light which states that sitting members of parliament cannot also be UN special representatives.

"Since I am committed to continuing to serve as MP for West Suffolk, this means I cannot take up the position.

"I look forward to supporting the UN ECA in their mission in whatever way I can in my parliamentary role."

The original announcement was criticised as it came on the same day a damning report from MPs was published on how errors and delays by the government and scientific advisers cost lives during the pandemic.

In a letter posted on Twitter by Mr Hancock on Tuesday, the under secretary-general of the UN, Vera Songwe had originally said that the West Suffolk MP's "success" in handling the UK's pandemic response was a testament to the strengths he will bring to the role.

After making the initial announcement on social media, Mr Hancock was congratulated by a host of ministers, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.

Mr Hancock's time in the cabinet was cut short four months ago after leaked CCTV footage showed him kissing an aide, in breach of social distancing rules that he had helped establish as health secretary.