Matt Hancock resigns as UK Health Minister admitting he broke covid guidance

The man tasked with leading the UK Health service through the COVID pandemic quit this evening saying he didn't want his private life to overshadow plans to emerge from the crisis.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 8:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th June 2021, 8:56 pm
Matt Hancock.

Matt Hancock today published his letter of resignation sent to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson which came after growing calls for him to go.

Sajid Javid was tonight swiftly appointed as the new Secretary of Health.

Mr Hancock in his letter said: "I am writing to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic."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 be with my children at this time.

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"We owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance."

The NHS is the best gift a nation has ever given itself, Mr Hancock said as he praised the "dedication and courage" of healthcare staff.

He also admitted: "We didn't get every decision right but I know people understand how hard it is to deal with the unknown, making the difficult trade-offs between freedom, prosperity and health that we have faced."

He further claimed the Tory government were pushing on with "building a better NHS which makes smarter use of technology and data, forming a new UK Health Security Agency, delivering positive changes to mental health care and will fix the problems in social care once and for all".

"It has been the honour of my life to serve in your Cabinet as Secretary of State and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. I will of course continue to support you in whatever way I can from the back benches, and I would like to thank you for your unwavering support, your leadership and your optimism, particularly as we worked together to overcome this awful disease," Mr Hancock said, adding:

"Many times I stood at the podium in Downing Street and thanked the team - my own team, the NHS, the volunteers, the Armed Services, our pharmacists GPs, the pharmaceutical industry and the whole British public who have made such sacrifices to help others. Those thanks are heartfelt and sincere and so I must resign."