British Health Secretary Matt Hancock today apologized for his “lack of respect for the rules of social distancing” during an adulterous affair with an adviser, but refused to resign.
I admit that I violated the rules of social distancing in these circumstances. “I have let people down and I apologize,” he said in a statement carried by British newspapers.
Nevertheless, he was determined to continue “focusing on the work to get the country out of this pandemic,” demanding that the family’s privacy be respected “in this private matter.”
The Sun reported today that Matt Hancock, who is married with three children, is in an affair with an aide and posted pictures of the two kissing in the minister’s office in May, at a time when hugs between members of different homes were prohibited.
The Department of Health’s hiring of Gina Coladangelo, who Matt Hancock will meet in college and who currently runs communications for a convenience store chain founded by her husband, also raises questions.
A spokesman for Labor, the main opposition party, questioned whether the minister had broken the rules and whether there was a “conflict of interest” in appointing the chancellor, a shareholder and director of the lobbying agency Luther Pendragon.
“Ministers, like everyone else, have a right to privacy. However, when taxpayer money is at stake or when jobs are offered to close friends who have a personal relationship with a minister, this needs to be analyzed.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News this morning that any hiring for the state would have to go through an “incredibly rigorous” process and that there were “no shortcuts”, refusing to comment further on a “entirely personal” matter. “
Hancock came under pressure recently after Dominic Cummings, a former adviser to the prime minister, accused him of lying on several occasions and said he should have been fired.
Then, he posted pictures of alleged messages exchanged with Boris Johnson in which he classified Hancock as “completely useless” in treating the pandemic.
At the start of the pandemic, in May 2020, scientist Neil Ferguson, a senior government adviser, was forced to resign after he took into his home a woman, allegedly a mistress, during his first period of detention in England.
The United Kingdom, which is currently experiencing a new epidemic wave caused by the delta variant, recorded 16,703 new cases of Covid-19 virus in the past 24 hours, the maximum since February 6, and the total number of deaths has reached 128,048 since the beginning of the epidemic. The highest number in Europe.