The health secretary of the United Kingdom (UK) MattHancock, has resigned after he allegedly breached COVID-19 social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague.
In a letter addressed to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, dated the 26th of June 2021, hon Hancock said he writes to resign as secretary of state for health and social care.
“We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic. 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 apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need be with my children at this time” Matt Hancock wrote.
“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” he added.
Mr Hancock in his resignation letter praised the UK’s health system, the National Health Service (NHS), saying it “is the best gift a nation has ever given itself, and the dedication and courage of the NHS staff and the ceaseless work of the officials in the Department is something we should all be proud of. We didn’t get every decision right but I know people understand how hard it is to deal with the unknown, making the difficult trade-offs between freedom, prosperity and health that we have faced”.
“I am so proud that Britain avoided the catastrophe of an overwhelmed NHS and that through foresight and brilliant science we have led the world in the vaccination effort, so we stand on the brink of a return to normality. The reforms we have started in the health system will ensure it continues to provide even better care for people in years to come. We are building a better NHS which makes smarter use of technology and data, forming a new UK Health Security Agency, delivering positive changes to mental health care and will fix the problems in social care once and for all” the embattled British politician said.
He also indicated that it has been the honour of his life to serve in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Johnson as secretary of state and that he is incredibly proud of what the government as been able to achieve.
“I will of course continue to support you in whatever way I can from the back benches, and I would like to thank you for your unwavering support, your leadership and your optimism, particularly as we worked together to overcome this awful disease” Hancock added.
Mr Hancock had been under increasing pressure to quit his job, after The Sun Newspaper published pictures of Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo, who are both married with three children, kissing. The newspaper said they had been taken inside the Department of Health. Fellow Tory MPs, as well as Labour and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, had called for the health secretary to be sacked.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in response, said Mr Hancock “should leave office very proud of what he has 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. I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over” Boris Johnson said.