British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced his resignation on Saturday (26), after it was revealed that he had violated government restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus due to an affair with an adviser, an impressive press report.
Hancock’s departure comes at a time when the United Kingdom, which has suffered more than 128,000 deaths, is facing an outbreak of coronavirus infection attributed to the highly contagious delta variant.
Responsible for fighting the epidemic and especially the national vaccination campaign, he resigned in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We have to be honest with the people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic when we let them down, as I did in violating states,” he wrote. “The last thing I want is my own life to divert attention from the unique approach that is getting us out of this crisis.”
Johnson, who said he “regretted” his minister’s resignation, responded that he would “be able to leave office with pride for what he has accomplished, not only in the face of the pandemic, but also before the coronavirus attacks us.”
Sajid Javid, 51, will replace Hancock, who was finance minister in the government of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned in early 2020 due to disagreements over the management of his portfolio.
Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, was home minister and was the first to hold the position from an ethnic minority, during Theresa May’s conservative government.
case with counselor
On Friday, The Sun newspaper published (25) a picture taken from a surveillance camera showing Matt Hancock, who is married with three children, and is also accepting also married Gina Coladangelo, a friend he met at university and whose appointment to the ministry sparked controversy.
The events took place in the minister’s office on May 6, when the country was subject to social distancing rules to prevent the spread of the virus, with fines imposed on citizens who did not adhere to the rules.
Hancock apologized and the Prime Minister initially supported it and deemed it over.
But the Sun newspaper doubled down on the pressure on Saturday by publishing the photos on its website, and increased calls for his resignation from opposition parties and the conservative ruling party. accused of hypocrisy.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, responded on Twitter: “Matt Hancock is right to resign. But Boris Johnson should have fired him.”
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey lamented: “The prime minister’s inaction shows this government’s total lack of respect for the British people.”
Conflict of interest?
The Labor Party also decried the potential conflict of interest that could cause the appointment of Coladangelo, who currently manages press relations for a chain of stores founded by her husband.
This date was not announced prior to the press release.
At a parliamentary hearing last month, controversial former Johnson adviser Dominic Cummings accused Hancock of “lying” on several occasions about how he handled the health crisis and said he should have been “sacked” for his incompetence.
It has also been heavily criticized for the lack of safeguards for caregivers at the start of the health crisis or, later, for the ambiguity surrounding the award of some public contracts, particularly to family members.
Hancock, a graduate of the prestigious universities of Oxford and Cambridge, took up his position on 9 July 2018, after having been Head of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.