Britain health minister quits after breaking virus rules by kissing aide - GulfToday

Britain health minister quits after breaking virus rules by kissing aide


Matt Hancock looks at the phone of his aide Gina Coladangelo as they leave the BBC headquarters in London. File / AFP

Gulf Today Report

Britain's Health Minister Matt Hancock has resigned after he admitted breaking COVID-19 guidance by kissing and embracing an aide in his office, angering colleagues and the public who have been living during lockdown.

The 42-year-old wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after The Sun newspaper published photos of the married minister embracing a woman who he had appointed to a taxpayer-funded role to scrutinise the performance of his department.

Hancock-wifeMartha Hancock, the wife of Matt Hancock, leaves her home in London. Reuters

Hancock has been at the centre of the government's fight against the pandemic, routinely appearing on the television and radio to tell people to follow the strict rules to contain the virus.

“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 said in the letter.

Downing Street on Saturday published Hancock's resignation letter to Boris Johnson and the prime minister's response, in which he said he was sorry to receive it.

Hancock-girlfriend Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo stand outside the BBC headquarters in London. Reuters

"We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic," Hancock said in the letter. "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."

“You should be immensely proud of your service,” he wrote. “I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.”

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