After ministers demanded that the Health Secretary resign Matt Hancock has handed in his notice.
Two timing Hancock Resigns. Tory MP’s defied Boris Johnson by calling for him to be dismissed from the Government. His resignation comes after a day of turmoil for the Health Secretary. It started with senior Conservative members keeping a deliberate silence on the matter, leaving the public to form their own opinion, before breaking ranks later in the day to insist he went.
After his apology on Friday for video footage showing him kissing close aide Gina Coladangelo he failed to calm members of the public who, quite rightly, said he had broken his own guidance rules. Boris Johnson declared the matter “closed” on Friday however Hancock’s resignation now puts his leadership qualities into question. In his letter of resignation the Health Secretary says “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 apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this.
I also need to be with my children at this time.” Replying to the letter Johnson said that he was sorry to see Hancock leave but he “should leave office very proud of what you have achieved, not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us”.
He also seemingly hinted that the door was not fully closed on Hancock by adding “I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.” Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, said Hancock was “right to resign. But Boris Johnson should have sacked him”. His replacement, Sajid Javid, former Home Secretary and chancellor, was announced by Downing Street last night.
It was also reported that on Thursday Hancock told his wife of 15 years that their marriage was over. Martha Hancock was apparently unaware of the affair until the story broke. Ms Coladangelo will also be leaving her post as aide to the Health Secretary following enquiries as to how she secured the role in the first place.