Sajid Javid replaces Matt Hancock as UK Health Secretary

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Sajid Javid replaces Matt Hancock as UK Health Secretary


Sajid Javid has been appointed as the new UK Health Secretary after Matt Hancock was forced to resign on Saturday following revelations he broke coronavirus rules by kissing his assistant.
“The Queen was happy to approve the appointment of MP Rt Hon Sajid Javid as Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs,” read a brief government press release on Saturday.

Javid, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Minister of the Interior, said he was “honored” by this appointment.

Hancock, who led Britain’s response to the pandemic, particularly the nationwide rollout of the vaccine, has resigned in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“We owe it to the people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we let them down like I did by breaking guidelines,” he wrote.

“The last thing I want is my private life to distract from the definite purpose that is getting us out of this crisis. “

Johnson said he was sorry to receive Hancock’s resignation and should be “immensely proud” of his service.

The government accused of hypocrisy

Johnson, who has faced criticism from various scandals including funding for renovating his Downing Street apartment, initially backed his health secretary after Hancock admitted to breaking COVID social distancing rules, while ‘at the same time he urged the public to stick to the measures.

Hancock, who led Britain’s response to the pandemic, particularly the nationwide rollout of the vaccine, was forced to resign on Saturday [File: Henry Nicholls/Reuters]

Opposition parties have accused the government of hypocrisy over lockdown rule violations which have seen many members of the public fined.

Hancock admitted he let the public down after The Sun newspaper published a security camera image obtained from a whistleblower on Friday showing him kissing the assistant in his office on May 6.

The main opposition Labor Party has said the government must answer questions about the undisclosed appointment of assistant, former lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, to Hancock’s main advisory team.

She and Hancock, who first met in college, tied the knot until they learned news of the scandal was about to be released.

Last week, Hancock dismissed criticism of his handling of the COVID pandemic after Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings posted private conversations on WhatsApp in which Johnson appeared to describe him as “hopeless.”

Johnson’s government has overseen one of the highest official records of the pandemic and has been criticized for its early handling – led by Hancock – of the coronavirus pandemic which has been characterized by missteps.

Hancock has also previously faced allegations that he lied to Johnson and awarded a contract to an unqualified friend.

He has also faced other questions about his shareholding in a family business that won a COVID-related contract from his ministry last year.

But Johnson praised Hancock for his role in the successful deployment of the vaccine in Britain, which he called “one of the greatest successes of the modern state”.

Government to investigate leaked Hancock footage

Meanwhile, the UK government said on Sunday it would investigate how images of former Minister Hancock kissing and kissing his aide made their way into the media and forced his resignation.

When asked if the Department of Health is investigating how Hancock’s photos were taken in his government office and leaked, Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News: “C ‘is a question that I know the Department of Health will be looking into to understand exactly how this recording… got out of the system.

Hancock’s replacement Javid has already held two of the most important government posts, as finance minister from 2019 to 2020 and home secretary in 2018.

Johnson’s government has been criticized for its early handling – led by Hancock – of the coronavirus pandemic which has been characterized by missteps [File: WPA Pool/Getty Images]

One of five sons of Pakistani immigrant parents, Javid is a former CEO of Deutsche Bank and previously worked as an assistant to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Labor leader Keir Starmer said Hancock was right to step down, but tweeted Johnson “should have fired him”.

England was due to completely relax restrictions on June 21, but the emergence of the Delta variant, first found in India, led to an extension of social distancing and other rules until July 19.



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