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Matt Hancock Resigns As Health Secretary

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Matt Hancock Resigns As Health Secretary

Matt Hancock has resigned as Health Secretary following the recent scandal over an alleged affair, saying in a video posted on social media that he has 'got' to step down.

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The former Health Secretary, who is married to wife Martha Hancock, was photographed in an alleged intimate moment with aide Gina Coladangelo, sparking speculation of an affair.

According to The Sun, the pictures were taken in the office of the Department of Health in May of this year, which led to the pair being widely criticised for breaking social distancing rules.

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Coladangelo is also stepping down from her role in the Department of Health, according to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.

In a video announcing his resignation, Hancock said: "I've been to see the Prime Minister to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

"I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made - that you have made. And those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them, and that's why I have got to resign.

Gina Coladangelo with Matt Hancock. Credit: PA
Gina Coladangelo with Matt Hancock. Credit: PA
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"I want to thank people for their incredible sacrifices and what they've done. Everybody working in the NHS, across social care, everyone involved in the vaccine programme, and frankly everybody in this country, who has risen to the challenges that we've seen over the past 18 months."

He also tendered his resignation in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where he said the government 'owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down'.

Credit: UK Government
Credit: UK Government

Coladangelo has reportedly known Hancock since they were at university together, and was made a non-executive director at the Department of Health - a role that comes with a salary of around £15,000 for between 15 and 20 days of work each year.

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She is also the marketing and communications director of homeware and fashion chain Oliver Bonas, which was founded by her husband, Oliver Tress.

Speaking out for the first time since the pictures emerged, Hancock apologised for breaking Covid-19 guidelines.

He said: "I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, at the time, he seemed to suggest he would not be resigning after the incident.

Hancock continued: "I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter."

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said the matter was considered 'closed'.

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"The Health Secretary set out that he accepted he had breached the social distancing guidelines and he has apologised for that," the spokesperson said.

"The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary's apology and considers the matter closed."

Asked whether Boris Johnson had 'full confidence' in Hancock, the spokesman replied: "Yes."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Politics

Jess Hardiman
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