BREAKING NEWS: Hancock resigns as health and social care secretary, Javid steps in

Matt Hancock parliament

Matt Hancock has resigned as Health and Social Care Secretary after admitting to breaching social distancing rules.

Sajid Javid, who previously served as home secretary from 2018 to 2019 and then as chancellor until February last year, has been appointed to replace him, Downing Street has said.

In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Hancock said: “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. I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need be with my children at this time.

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“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.”

The news comes after CCTV footage of him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo was published by The Sun. 

In response to Hancock’s letter, Boris Johnson said: “Thank you for your letter this evening, tendering your resignation as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I am sorry to receive it.

“You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us. Under your leadership, the Department has led fundamental reforms to the provision of care in this country.

“The NHS Long Term Plan was a major milestone in the history of that great institution. Your work on the Health and Care Bill will support our NHS and deliver greater integration between health and social care. And your efforts mean that we have a record numbers of doctors and over 14,800 more nurses working in our NHS than last year.”

In a video posted on Twitter, Hancock said: “I have been to see the prime minister to resign as secretary of state for health and social care.

“I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made, that you have made, and those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I have got to resign.”

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke