UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigned on Saturday after images of him kissing an assistant became public – and he later apologized for the scorching violation of the country’s social distancing guidelines.
“The last thing I would like is for my private life to distract from the stated purpose of getting us out of this crisis,” Hancock said in his resignation letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Sun had posted images of the cabinet minister married in an embrace with senior assistant Gina Coladangelo at an office in the government health ministry. The outlet said the footage was taken in early May before the country’s strict regulations were relaxed to allow cuddling with family members.
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“I would like to reiterate my apologies for breaking the guidelines and apologize to my family and relatives for putting them through this,” he said. ” I also need [to] be with my kids right now. “
The Times of London reported that Hancock, after being informed by The Sun that the outlet had obtained the footage, rushed to his home Thursday evening to inform his wife Martha of the affair and that their marriage was over before the news does not break out.
Hancock reportedly told his wife, who previously thought their marriage was ‘happy and stable’ and even woke their youngest child, who is 8, to announce his departure.
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Hancock is one of many British politicians who, like some of their American counterparts, have been accused of breaking the rules on COVID-19 that they themselves defined or supported. It also raised questions about how Coladangelo, a college friend of Hancock’s who is also married, was named.
Hancock’s position as a resource person for the UK government’s handling of the COVID pandemic was already in doubt after it was revealed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson called him ‘utterly desperate’ in texts intended to help Dominic Cummings.
Cummings, a former senior Johnson adviser who had faced his own controversy over adherence to the guidelines, had accused Hancock of botching the government’s response to the pandemic. Reporters later asked him if he was “desperate”, to which he replied: “I don’t think so”.
He has also been teased on several occasions, particularly during a television appearance where he was accused of false crying as he wiped his apparently dry eyes as he discussed the first vaccine deployment. from the country.
Her behavior had also prompted comments from Queen Elizabeth II who, in a conversation with Johnson, said she had recently spoken to Hancock.
“I just spoke to your secretary of state for health, poor man, he came to the Privy Council,” she said. “It’s full of uh….
“Lots of beans,” Johnson interjected.
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“Yes,” Her Majesty replied. “He says things are improving.
The controversy over Hancock seems unlikely to end with the secretary’s resignation.
Labor leader Keir Starmer immediately turned his attention to how Johnson handled the case – particularly his initial support for the ailing minister.
“Matt Hancock is right to resign,” he tweeted. “But Boris Johnson should have sacked him. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.