British Health Minister Matt Hancock announced his resignation on Saturday evening (06/26) after photos of him were posted to one of his advisers, in violation of social distancing rules during the pandemic.
“Those who set the rules must abide by them, which is why I must resign,” Hancock, one of the key people so far responsible for the British government’s strategy to combat the pandemic, said in a video posted to Twitter.
tabloid the sun On Friday, he published a picture of the minister embracing and kissing one of his aides. The photo was taken on May 6, when the government asked residents not to maintain physical contact with people from other homes and not to approach other people in work environments without wearing a mask. Since then, these restrictions have largely been removed.
‘We need to be honest’
“The last thing I would like is for my private life to distract from the effort to eradicate the coronavirus,” Hancock, who is married and father of three, said in the letter announcing his resignation to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We have to be honest with the people who sacrificed so much during this pandemic when we failed with them, as I did in violating recommendations,” he added.
After assessing his management of the health crisis, Hancock, 42, admitted that the government had not made all the right decisions, but pleaded for people’s understanding of how difficult it is to deal with something as unknown as COVID-19.
In recent weeks, the former secretary of state has been embroiled in a bitter political dispute with Johnson’s former senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, who has accused him of lying on several occasions during the fight against the pandemic.
Last week, Cummings released a screenshot of a text message written by the prime minister calling Hancock “useless”.
The former British Minister of State for Economy and Home Affairs, Sajid Javid, will take over the health portfolio.
Javid, 51, is arriving at the post amid an increase in coronavirus cases in the UK and the spread of the delta variant, which is more transmissible and already prevalent in the country.
Javid will now be one of the key people in charge of the UK’s vaccination programme, which has already vaccinated more than 32 million people against coronavirus at the necessary doses (61.2% of the population).
The new minister will also be responsible, along with the prime minister and other cabinet members, for the roadmap for the gradual abolition of restrictions against the pandemic.
The government is keeping July 19 as the set date for the removal of all social restrictions, despite an increase in infections. In the past seven days, new cases are up 54.4% compared to the previous week.
rpr (AP, Efe)