The married politician was pictured kissing and kissing his advisor, who British tabloid The Sun claims to be having an affair with. The newspaper reported that the footage was from May 6, two weeks before household-to-household contact was allowed indoors in England.
“I went to see the Prime Minister resign from his post as Secretary of State for Health and Social Affairs… Those of us who set these rules must abide by them, and that is why I must resign,” said Hancock. said in a video posted to his Twitter page.
“I am very proud of what we have done to protect the NHS at the top, to ensure the deployment of this vaccine – one of the fastest in the world – and I look forward to supporting the government and the Prime Minister of the backs, ”he added.
In a letter to Boris Johnson, he apologized, writing: “I want to reiterate my apologies for breaking the guidelines and apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this.”
Hancock has been under pressure for months over his handling of Britain’s coronavirus pandemic, but has managed to hang on to his role.
Former Chancellor and Home Secretary Sajid Javid will replace Hancock, Downing Street has announced.
To date, more than 128,000 people have died in the UK from Covid-19 – the highest death toll in Europe. One of the most significant early failures of the UK’s response to Covid-19 was the construction of a test and traceability system. The UK government has also been criticized for neglecting care homes, allowing many facilities to do without sufficient PPE, testing and clear guidelines.
Cummings delivered a damning account of the government’s response to the coronavirus during a seven-hour marathon hearing before Members of Parliament in Westminster last month, accusing Downing Street and Hancock of misleading the British public.
The divisive figure, who left his post last November amid the deadly second wave of the pandemic in the UK, doubled down on his criticism of Hancock last week.
“As the Prime Minister himself said, Hancock’s performance in testing, procurement, PPE [personal protective equipment], nursing homes, etc. were “totally desperate,” “Cummings said in a tweet, sharing a screenshot of what appears to be a WhatsApp exchange with Johnson just days after the UK entered its first full lockdown in the middle of a worsening of the epidemic.
On March 27, 2020, the same day Johnson and Hancock both tested positive for the coronavirus, Cummings said he texted the Prime Minister to tell him the pace of coronavirus testing was too slow and that the Minister of Health had misled the government about its ability to accelerate.
According to the screenshot shared on Cummings’ blog and on Twitter, Johnson replied, “Totally f ** king desperate.”
In another text message a month later, on April 27, when National Health Service staff ran out of critical masks and gowns, Johnson said the PPE shortages were “a disaster” and suggested removing completely Hancock from purchasing the equipment.
“Wtf are we doing? Johnson wrote.
The chaos around Hancock had already grown to such an extent that it even caught the Queen’s attention.
The Queen alluded to the Health Secretary’s woes on Wednesday during her first in-person hearing with the Prime Minister in 15 months, informing Johnson that she had spoken to “your Health Secretary, poor man”.
It is unclear whether the comment was a reaction to the heavy burden of managing the country’s coronavirus response, or an acknowledgment of the criticisms Hancock received from Cummings.
“I just spoke to your secretary of state for health, poor man. He’s come for the privy council. He’s full of …”
“Beans,” Johnson joked.
“He thinks things are getting better,” the Queen said, to which Johnson replied, “Well, uh, they are, in the sense that we are…” before the video abruptly ended.
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