UK minister Matt Hancock, who broke Covid-19 rules by kissing aide, resigns
Britain's health minister Matt Hancock resigned on Saturday after admitting he broke Covid-19 guidance by kissing and embracing an aide in his office.
Downing Street has published Hancock's resignation letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, reported Reuters.
In his letter of resignation to PM Johnson, Hancock said that the government owes “it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down.”
Stating that the nation needs to focus on a public crisis, Hancock in his letter said, “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."
“I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this,” he said. “I also need (to) be with my children at this time.”
British PM Boris Johnson was under mounting pressure on Saturday to fire his health secretary after the admission that he broke Covid-19 guidelines by kissing an employee sparked accusations of blatant hypocrisy.
The 42-year-old minister has been at the centre of the government's fight against the pandemic, routinely telling people to follow strict rules and even welcoming the resignation last year of a senior scientist who broke restrictions in a similar manner.
British tabloids 'The Sun' has released photos and videos of the minister in an embrace and kissing his aide in an office at the Department of Health, evoking demands of resignation from the Opposition Labour Party which termed his position "hopelessly untenable".
Reacting to the letter of exit, Johnson said he was “sorry” to receive Hancock’s resignation and that he “should leave office very proud of what you have achieved — not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us."