British Health Minister Matt Hancock resigned on June 26 after breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
“I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance and apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need [to] be with my children at this time,” Hancock wrote in his resignation letter.
“We owe it to the 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,” Hancock further wrote.
His resignation comes after a leaked CCTV footage showed him kissing his aide, Gina Coladangelo, in his office while distancing rules for people from separate households were in place.
Hancock previously had issued a statement that he intended to remain in his post despite admitting that he breached the rules. However, heavy criticism against him continued.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded in a letter saying that he was “sorry” to receive Hancock’s resignation.
“You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved — not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before COVID-19 struck us,” Johnson wrote.
Labor Party leader Keir Starmer said that Hancock was “right to resign” but Johnson “should have sacked him.”
“Matt Hancock wasted taxpayers’ money, left our care homes exposed, and broke his own COVID-19 rules,” Starmer said.
Coladangelo has also resigned from her post at the Department of Health and Social Care, following a series of questions on how she secured her role, as well as her influence within Hancock’s office.
Sajid Javid has now taken up the role of health minister.
“This position comes with a huge responsibility and I will do everything I can to deliver for the people of this great country,” Javid said in a statement.
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