The Health Minister of UK Matt Hancock, announced his resignation this Saturday, 26, after breaking social distancing rules in the pandemic.
The Sun newspaper published a photo in which the minister, married and father of 3 children, appears hugging and kissing Gina Coladangelo, also married, mother of 3 children and a counselor chosen by him.
The image, released this Friday, was taken on May 6, when the British government had asked the population to keep a distance of 1 meter from other people in work environments.
After a wave of criticism and resignation from the British government’s opposition, alleging violation of recommendations to maintain social detachment, Matt Hancock resigned as Health Minister this Saturday.
“We, who made the rules, have to comply with them and that’s why I have to resign,” said the government official, who has been one of the main responsible for the strategy to fight the covid pandemic, in a video posted on the social network Twitter. 19.
“The last thing I would like is for my private life to distract attention from efforts to end Coronavirus,” Hancock said in the letter in which he announced his resignation to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We need to be honest with the people who sacrificed so much during this pandemic when we failed them, as I did in violating the recommendations,” added the now former minister.
As he took stock of his management of the health crisis, Hancock admitted that the government didn’t make all the right decisions, but asked for people’s understanding of how difficult it is to deal with something unknown. Former UK Secretary of State for the Economy and Interior, Sajid Javid, will take over.
For several weeks, the head of health of the British Government has been at the center of a controversy sparked by the former senior adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, who accused him of having lied on several occasions during the management of the pandemic.
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The opposition Liberal Democrats have called for Hancock’s resignation, accusing him of “hypocrisy” in asking people to avoid contact and kissing someone outside his home. But what will be at stake is, above all, the fact that it became known in November 2020 that Gina Coladangelo, a friend from Hancock’s college, was hired at the request of the Minister of Health for an unpaid advisor position in the Department of Health and Social Care — the equivalent of the Directorate-General for Health in Portugal.
This position later evolved into a non-executive director position earning a salary of £15,000 a year. In addition, Coladangelo also received a pass to gain access to the British Parliament.
Therefore, suspicions of patronage are the main reasons why the opposition called for Hancock’s resignation, considering the case “a blatant abuse of power and a clear conflict of interest”.
“The list of charges against Matt Hancock includes wasting taxpayers’ money, leaving nursing homes exposed and now being accused of breaking his own rules for covid,” the party wrote in a statement.