9/21/2021
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UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigns after Covid breach


Sunday June 27, 2021



UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigned on Saturday following revelations he broke government coronavirus restrictions during an affair with a close aide, with former finance minister Sajid Javid taking up the role.

The frontman for Britain's response to the pandemic, particularly the nationwide vaccine roll-out, quit in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"We owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance," he wrote.

"The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis."

Johnson said he was sorry to receive Hancock's resignation, and that he should be "immensely proud" of his service.

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His Downing Street office later said that Queen Elizabeth II had approved the appointment of Sajid Javid MP as his replacement.
Social distancing rules

Johnson had initially stood by his health secretary after Hancock admitted breaking Covid social distancing rules, when at the same time he was urging the public to stick by the measures.

Opposition parties have accused the government of hypocrisy over breaches of lockdown rules which have seen many members of the public slapped with fines.

Hancock conceded he had let the public down after The Sun newspaper published a security camera still obtained apparently from a whistleblower showing him kissing the aide in his office on May 6.

The main opposition Labour party said the government needed to answer questions about the undisclosed appointment of the aide, former lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, to Hancock's top advisory team.

Both she and Hancock are married, and first met at university.


His Downing Street office later said that Queen Elizabeth II had approved the appointment of Sajid Javid MP as his replacement.
Social distancing rules

Johnson had initially stood by his health secretary after Hancock admitted breaking Covid social distancing rules, when at the same time he was urging the public to stick by the measures.

Opposition parties have accused the government of hypocrisy over breaches of lockdown rules which have seen many members of the public slapped with fines.

Hancock conceded he had let the public down after The Sun newspaper published a security camera still obtained apparently from a whistleblower showing him kissing the aide in his office on May 6.

The main opposition Labour party said the government needed to answer questions about the undisclosed appointment of the aide, former lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, to Hancock's top advisory team.

Both she and Hancock are married, and first met at university.


Britain was due to fully ease restrictions on June 21, but the emergence of the Delta variant, first found in India, has led to an extension of social distancing rules.



 





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