Matt Hancock has resigned as health secretary following allegations that he kissed a colleague in violation of social distancing guidelines.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, he stated that the government “owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down”
Boris Johnson expressed regret at receiving the resignation.
Sajid Javid, the former chancellor, has been appointed as the new health secretary, Downing Street announced.
Mr Hancock has been under increasing pressure to resign following the publication of photographs of him kissing Gina Coladangelo, who is also married with three children. They were allegedly taken within the Department of Health on 6 May, according to the newspaper.
Conservative colleagues, Labour, and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group have all called for the health secretary’s resignation, and a senior Tory figure told the BBC that several MPs had informed their whips on Saturday that he should quit.
According to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, No10 emphasised that Mr Hancock’s departure was voluntary and not compelled by the prime minister.
She also announced that Ms Coladangelo was resigning as a non-executive director of the Department of Health.
Mr Hancock stated in a video shared on Twitter: “I have gone 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.”
Mr Hancock, who served as health secretary for three years, apologized in his resignation letter for “breaking the guidance” and for “putting them through this”