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BREAKING: Matt Hancock resigns as Health Secretary after admitting breaking Covid rules

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Matt Hancock has resigned as Health Secretary in a letter to Boris Johnson after admitting he broke the current Covid-safety guidelines.

It comes after embarrassing footage emerged of him in a clinch with a colleague on May 6, when the public were still being advised not to hug people outside their household.

In his letter of resignation, Mr Hancock said he will step down from his post as the Government “owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down”.

He added: “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 (to) be with my children at this time.”

The Sun published pictures of the married Cabinet minister appearing to kiss his close friend Gina Coladangelo, who the newspaper said was hired by Mr Hancock last year.

The images, apparently captured from CCTV footage, were taken on May 6 at the headquarters of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the newspaper adds.

Mr Hancock, who met Ms Coladangelo at Oxford University, where they both worked on the student radio station, has been married to his wife Martha for 15 years and they have three children.

Following his resignation, the former Health Secretary posted a video on social media explaining the reasons for his decision.

He said: “I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made and those of us who make these rule have got to stick by them – and that’s why I’ve got to resign.

“I want to thank people for their incredible sacrifices and what they’ve done – everybody working in the NHS and across social care, everyone involved in the vaccine programme and frankly everybody in this country who has risen to the challenges we’ve seen over the past 18 months.”

Mr Hancock added he’s very proud of the progress that has been made with the vaccination roll-out in the country and he will continue to support the Government from the back benches “with all of his heart”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “sorry” to receive Matt Hancock’s resignation as Health Secretary.

He said Mr Hancock “should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us”.

Mr Johnson added: “I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.”

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