Britain’s Health Minister Matt Hancock announced his resignation this Saturday (26), following revelations that he had violated government restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus because of his association with a consultant, a tabloid report sensation .
Hancock’s departure comes as the UK, which has suffered more than 128,000 deaths, is facing an outbreak of coronavirus infections attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant.
Responsible for fighting the pandemic, and in particular the national vaccination campaign, he resigned in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We must be honest with those who sacrificed so much in this pandemic when we let them down, as I did in violating the provisions,” he wrote. “The last thing I want is my personal life to distract us from the unique perspective that has taken us out of this crisis,” he said.
“He will be able to leave his position with pride for what he has achieved, not only in the face of the pandemic, but the COVID-19 attack that has hit us,” Johnson responded, who said That he “regrets” the resignation of his minister.
Hancock will be replaced by Sajid Javid, 51, who was finance minister in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s previous cabinet and who resigned in early 2020 over disagreements over the management of his portfolio.
During Theresa May’s conservative government, Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, was the interior minister, the first person from an ethnic minority to rise to office.
case with consultant
Published on Friday by The Sun newspaper (25) an image taken from a surveillance camera that showed Matt Hancock, married with three children, also married Gina Coladangelo, a friend he met at university and whose ministry because of Appointment kiss on controversy.
The facts took place in the minister’s office on May 6, when the country was under social distancing rules to prevent the spread of the virus, with citizens not following the rules being fined.
Hancock apologized and the head of government initially showed his support and considered the matter closed.
But Sun doubled down on his pressure by posting photos on his website on Saturday, and calls for his resignation rose from both the opposition and ruling Conservative parties. He was accused of hypocrisy.
Opposition Labor leader Keir Starmer reacted on Twitter, saying: “Matt Hancock is right to resign. But Boris Johnson should have fired him.”
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said, “The prime minister’s inaction shows this government’s complete disrespect for the British people.”
conflict of interests?
The Labor Party also condemned a potential conflict of interest that could lead to the appointment of Colladenzello, who currently manages press relations for a chain of shops founded by her husband.
This appointment was not announced prior to the press release.
At a parliamentary hearing last month, Johnson’s controversial former adviser Dominic Cummings accused Hancock of “lying” on multiple occasions about how he handled the health crisis and said he should have been “fired” for being unfit.
It was heavily criticized for the lack of protective material for caregivers at the start of the health crisis or, later, for the ambiguity surrounding the award of certain public contracts, especially for family members.
Hancock, a graduate of the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge universities, took over on July 9, 2018, previously heading the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.