Matt Hancock, Britain’s beleaguered health secretary, resigns after being caught kissing aide

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The married politician was pictured kissing and embracing his adviser, with whom British tabloid The Solar alleges he’s having an affair. The newspaper reported that the photographs had been from Could 6, two weeks earlier than cross-household contact was allowed indoors in England.

“I have been to see the Prime Minister to resign as Secretary of State for Well being and Social care… These of us who make these guidelines have gotten to stay by them, and that is why I’ve obtained to resign,” Hancock stated in a video posted on his Twitter web page.

“I am very happy with what we have accomplished to guard the NHS on the peak, to ship that vaccine rollout — one of many quickest on the planet — and I sit up for supporting the federal government and the Prime Minister from the backbenches,” he added.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, he apologized writing, “I need to reiterate my apology for breaking the steerage and apologise to my household and family members for placing them by this.”

The Solar‘s report had sparked accusations of obvious cronyism — an allegation that the well being secretary has confronted beforehand for awarding a contract to a former neighbor for Covid-19 check kits.

Hancock has been below strain for months over his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain, however had managed to cling onto his position.

Former Chancellor and House Secretary Sajid Javid will exchange Hancock, Downing Road introduced.

Hancock was accused by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings of botching the nation’s coronavirus testing program, in addition to mendacity concerning the dire state of affairs in care properties and the scarcity of private protecting tools (PPE). Hancock has denied the claims.

Thus far, greater than 128,000 individuals have died in the UK from Covid-19 — the best dying toll in Europe. One of many greatest early failures of the UK’s response to Covid-19 was in constructing a test-and-trace system. The British authorities has additionally been criticized for neglecting care properties, permitting many services to go with out enough PPE, testing and clear tips.

Boris Johnson described his health secretary as 'hopeless,' according to former aide

Cummings delivered a damning account of the federal government’s coronavirus response in a marathon seven-hour listening to earlier than members of parliament in Westminster final month, accusing Downing Road and Hancock of deceptive the British public.

The divisive determine, who stop his submit final November amid the UK’s lethal second wave of the pandemic, doubled down on his criticisms of Hancock final week.

“Because the PM stated himself, Hancock’s efficiency on testing, procurement, PPE [personal protective equipment], care properties and so on was ‘completely f**king hopeless,'” Cummings stated in a tweet, sharing a screenshot of what seems to be a WhatsApp change with Johnson simply days after the UK went into its first full lockdown amid a worsening outbreak.

On March 27, 2020, the identical day that Johnson and Hancock each examined constructive for the coronavirus, Cummings stated he texted the prime minister to inform him the tempo of coronavirus testing was too sluggish and that the well being minister had misled authorities about his means to hurry it up.

In line with the screenshot shared on Cummings’ weblog and on Twitter, Johnson responded: “Completely f**king hopeless.”

In one other textual content message a month later, on April 27, when Nationwide Well being Service workers had been operating out of vital masks and robes, Johnson stated the PPE shortages had been “a catastrophe,” and advised taking Hancock off procurement of the tools totally.

“Wtf will we do?” Johnson wrote.

Requested final week by Sky Information whether or not he was certainly hopeless, Hancock stated: “I do not suppose so.” Johnson has not commented on the WhatsApp messages, and his official spokesman stated the Prime Minister doesn’t plan to interact with each allegation that’s made.

The chaos round Hancock had already reached such a scale that it even drew the eye of the Queen.

The Queen alluded to the well being secretary’s woes on Wednesday in her first in-person viewers with the prime minister in 15 months, informing Johnson that she had been talking to “your secretary of state for well being, poor man.”

It’s unclear whether or not the remark was a response to the heavy burden of managing the nation’s coronavirus response, or an acknowledgment of the criticism Hancock has obtained from Cummings.

“I’ve simply been speaking to your secretary of state for well being, poor man. He got here for privy council. He is filled with …”

“Beans,” Johnson quipped.

“He thinks that issues are getting higher,” the Queen stated, to which Johnson replied: “Effectively, er, they’re, within the sense that we’re …” earlier than the video abruptly ends.

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