Matt Hancock resigned as Britain’s Health Secretary Saturday, one day after he apologized for breaching Covid regulations.
The married politician was pictured kissing and embracing his adviser, with whom British tabloid The Sun alleges he is having an affair. The newspaper reported that the images were from May 6, two weeks before cross-household contact was allowed indoors in England
I’ve been to see the Prime Minister to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social care… Those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them, and that’s why I’ve got to resign,” Hancock said in a video posted on his Twitter page.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve done to protect the NHS at the peak, to deliver that vaccine rollout — one of the fastest in the world — and I look forward to supporting the government and the Prime Minister from the backbenches,” he added.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, he apologized writing, “I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this.”
The Sun’s report had sparked accusations of apparent cronyism — an allegation that the health secretary has faced previously for awarding a contract to a former neighbor for Covid-19 test kits.
Hancock has been under pressure for months over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain, but had managed to cling onto his role.
He was accused by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings of botching the country’s coronavirus testing program, as well as lying about the dire situation in care homes and the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Hancock has denied the claims.
To date, more than 128,000 people have died in the United Kingdom from Covid-19 — the highest death toll in Europe. One of the biggest early failures of the UK’s response to Covid-19 was in building a test-and-trace system. The British government has also been criticized for neglecting care homes, allowing many facilities to go without sufficient PPE, testing and clear guidelines.
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