British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has resigned after he was caught kissing an aide in violation of coronavirus restrictions.
He submitted his resignation to the British Prime Minister this evening and apologized for breaching public health restrictions.
Mr Hancock also apologized to his family and said he should be with his children at this time.
Pictures and videos showed Hancock embracing his aide Gina Coladangelo last month, and the health secretary was facing mounting pressure to resign over violating social distancing rules.
The letter of resignation stated that the people of the United Kingdom deserved honesty when a member of the Government had failed them as he had done.
“The last thing I want is for my personal life to distract from the single focus that is leading us out of this crisis,” Hancock said.
He praised NHS staff and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials and admitted that “we didn’t make every decision right”.
But, he said, “I know people understand how difficult it is to deal with the unknown, which makes the difficult trade-off between freedom, prosperity, and health that we’ve had.”
In a video posted to Twitter, Mr. Hancock said: “I understand the tremendous sacrifices that everyone in this country has made, you have made. Those of us who make these rules must abide by them and that is why I must resign.”
– Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) 26 June 2021
He thanked Boris Johnson for his “steadfast support” as well as his leadership and optimism throughout the fight against Covid.
In his response, Johnson did not refer to the former health minister who had fallen into a compromising position but said he was “sorry” to receive the resignation. He praised his work in his role before and during the Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Johnson wrote: “You should leave your position very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 hits us.”
He concluded his message by saying, “You should be very proud of your service. I am grateful for your support and I believe your contribution to public service is far from over.”
Johnson had refused to fire Mr Hancock, and his spokesman said the prime minister considered the matter closed after receiving an apology from the West Suffolk MP on Friday.
Both Labor and Scottish National Party leaders in Westminster have criticized Mr Johnson for not firing Mr Hancock before he had a chance to resign.
Taking to Twitter after news of Mr Hancock’s stepping down, SNP’s Ian Blackford called it a “fiasco” by the Prime Minister adding “a fish is rotting from its head. So does this UK government”.