Why didn't Boris Johnson sack Matt Hancock?

File photo dated 9/4/2020 of Matt Hancock who has resigned as Health Secretary after video footage e

Former health secretary Matt Hancock, who resigned on Saturday - Credit: PA

Matt Hancock did the right thing by resigning on Saturday, but he should never have had the opportunity. He should've been sacked.

It seemed clear soon after CCTV footage was made public of him breaching social distancing regulations, in an apparent extramarital clinch with Gina Coladangelo, that his position was completely untenable.

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

Health Secretary Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo (left) outside BBC Broadcasting House in London in May. West Suffolk MP Hancock has been accused of having an affair with the adviser to his department. - Credit: PA

As health secretary, the West Suffolk MP has spent most of the last 15 months telling the public to follow Covid rules.

To break them was hypocrisy and an insult to everyone who has done their bit - particularly those kept apart from loved ones in care homes and hospitals, or have been unable to attend funerals.

Yet Mr Hancock would still be health secretary today, helping lead the country out of the Covid crisis, if he hadn't resigned. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson accepted his apology and on Friday said the matter was closed. In this newspaper's view, that was the wrong decision.

Everyone is entitled to a personal life, but the difference here is that Mr Hancock was the health secretary and broke the rules that he has told everyone else to follow. The PM should've acted.

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Honesty, integrity and competency. This is the minimum we should expect of our politicians. Minimum. 

Mr Hancock has a sizeable challenge rebuilding his reputation.