News Coronavirus UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigns over anti-COVID kiss with staffer
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UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigns over anti-COVID kiss with staffer

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A passionate kiss that breached the UK’s COVID restrictions has cost the UK health minister his job after video footage emerged of the rule-breaking tryst with a staffer.

Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary the day after The Sun tabloid newspaper published pictures of him kissing an aide in his ministerial office.

Images and video showed Mr Hancock in an embrace with Gina Coladangelo and Mr Hancock was facing increasing pressure to quit over breaking social-distancing rules.

The Sun newspaper said the images showed the pair, who are both married with three children, kissing inside the Department of Health on 6 May.

Mr Hancock has steered the UK through the pandemic, its lockdowns and vaccine rollout, but was caught red-handed disobeying his own rules.

He wrote to Boris Johnson on Saturday and said: “The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading up out of this crisis.”

He said: “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.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has steered Britain through the pandemic but broke COVID rules. Photo: AAP

In response, 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.”

There had been pressure from both sides of politics and a group representing people who had lost loved ones in the pandemic for Mr Hancock to stand down over the COVID breach.

Mr Johnson had refused to sack Mr Hancock, with his spokesman saying the PM considered the matter closed after receiving the West Suffolk MP’s apology on Friday.

In a video posted on Twitter Mr Hancock stood in front of a green bush and explained to the nation why he had to go.

“I have been to see the prime minister to resign as secretary of state for health and social care.

“I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made, that you have made, and those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I have got to resign.”

-with AAP