Matt Hancock resigns as health secretary after breaking Covid rules

Previously unissued photo dated 16/05/2021 of Health Secretary Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Colada

Matt Hancock has stepped down as health secretary after being pictured kissing aide Gina Coladangelo - Credit: PA

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has stepped down as health secretary after pictures emerged of him breaking social distancing rules when kissing an aide.

Pictures showing the 42-year-old in a passionate clinch kissing Gina Coladangelo, 43, were published on Friday by The Sun newspaper.

Mr Hancock later accepted that he had broken Covid rules and said he had "let people down".

He confirmed in a video posted on Twitter that he had stepped down from his cabinet position after writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid was later named as his successor in the role.

In his letter of resignation, Mr Hancock 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 apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need (to) be with my children at this time."

In response to Mr Hancock’s letter, the Prime Minister wrote: "You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference on the final day of the G7 summit in Cornwall

Boris Johnson had initially stood by the health secretary - Credit: Ben Stansall/PA

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"Above all, it has been your task to deal with a challenge greater than that faced by any of your predecessors, and in fighting Covid you have risen to that challenge – with the abundant energy, intelligence, and determination that are your hallmark."

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