Matt Hancock has resigned as health secretary after he breached social distancing guidance by kissing a colleague. He send his letter of resignation to PM Boris Johnson sating that the government “owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down”.
Boris Johnson said he was “sorry” to receive the resignation.
Mr Hancock had been under increasing pressure to quit, after the Sun published pictures and then a video of Mr Hancock and Gina Coladangelo, who are both married with three children, kissing. The newspaper said they had been taken inside the Department of Health on 6 May.
Former chancellor Sajid Javid has been chosen as Mr Hancock’s replacement.
Mr Hancock has ended his 15-year marriage to his wife, Martha, and the relationship with Ms Coladangelo is understood to be a serious one.
Coladangelo was also understood to be leaving her role as a non-executive director of the Department of Health. In a written response, Johnson wrote: “You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us.”
The health secretary had already faced questions about his relationship with Coladangelo, a university friend who he brought in as non-executive director at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The CCTV footage was taken on 6 May, according to the Sun, which obtained the pictures. Under the government’s unlocking timetable, intimate contact with people from outside your own household was only permitted from 17 May, at step 3 of the process.