British health secretary, Matt Hancock, on Saturday tendered his resignation letter after he admitted breaching Covid-19 protocol by kissing and embracing an aide in his office.
The National News reported that two hours after Downing Street pushed Hancock’s resignation letter to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, he was replaced by a former finance minister, Sajid Javid.
“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,” Mr Hancock said.
“I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need [to] be with my children at this time.”
The woman involved in the scandal, Gina Coladangelo, has also lost her job at the ministry, and the government will face ethical questions over how Mr Hancock hired her, a university friend.
Acknowledging his resignation letter, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said that he was sorry Hancock had to leave.
“You should be immensely proud of your service,” he wrote. “I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.”
In his resignation letter, the former UK health secretary said he owed it to the health workers, volunteers and military personnel who had worked on the UK’s pandemic response to resign.
Hancock also publicly apologised to his family.
“I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this,” Mr Hancock wrote. “I also need to be with my children at this time.”
Johnson had been under intense pressure on Saturday to fire his health secretary after he admitted kissing an employee in breach of Covid-19 guidelines.
On Saturday, the prime minister’s home was pelted with tennis balls as thousands of anti-lockdown protesters marched through London.
Demonstrators carried placards calling for Hancock’s resignation.
The former health secretary 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.
On Friday, Hancock publicly apologised after The UK Sun newspaper published him kissing a senior aide in his office last month.