Matt Hancock, the British health minister, resigned on Saturday, June 26, after being filmed kissing and embracing senior aide Gina Coladangelo in his office in breach of coronavirus social distancing rules.
“Those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I’ve got to resign,” the 42-year-old said in a video on Twitter.
Hancock apologized to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson has also suffered an embarrassment due to Hancock’s resignation since he stated on Friday that he had accepted Hancock’s apologies and considered the matter to be resolved.
The Prime Minister said he was ‘sorry’ to receive Mr Hancock’s resignation as Health Secretary.
“You should be immensely proud of your service,” he wrote in reply to Hancock. “I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.”
I have resigned as Health Secretary pic.twitter.com/eyWi1AA19i— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 26, 2021
Also, Hancock told his wife he would be leaving her after learning of CCTV footage of him and an aide kissing was released to the public.
Hancock said that he had let people down.
The ex-Health Secretary wrote in his letter: ‘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 (to) be with my children at this time.”
Hancock, a Conservative MP, had been at the center of the government’s campaign against the pandemic. He has been praised for the speed with which Britain has responded to the coronavirus outbreak.
He utilized his media appearances to persuade voters to follow the government’s social distancing rules.
He will be tasked with helping the state-run health service recover from the pandemic and to deal with any future infection waves.
Ms. Coladangelo, 43, a friend from his days at Oxford University, was hired by Hancock as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in early 2020. She is stepping down from the Department of Health’s board of directors.
It’s not the first time that senior government officials have been accused of breaching laws that they helped to develop since the outbreak began.
In April of last year, despite constantly warning Britons to stay at home, Robert Jenrick, a minister responsible for housing, faced questions when he traveled to his parents’ home in Shropshire, central England.
In addition, Dominic Cummings, the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Johnson, was chastised after traveling from London to Durham, in northeast England, in violation of government limits on nonessential travel inside the UK.