The health minister resigned after posting a photo of him kissing a colleague in a newspaper last month.
British Health Minister Matt Hancock resigned a day after violating social distancing rules by kissing his assistant.
The 42-year-old handed in his resignation to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the Sun Tabloid on Saturday Publish The married minister hugs a photo of a woman who has been appointed to a taxpayer-funded role to review the performance of her department.
The pictures that angered the public and politicians were taken on May 6, 11 days before the lockdown rules were relaxed to allow hugs and other physical contact with people outside of their home.
Hancock has always been the center of the government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He often appears on television and radio, telling people to abide by strict regulations to control the virus.
His departure means that Johnson will have to appoint a new minister who will be responsible for overseeing health services and the large department that responds to COVID-19 as cases start to rise again.
Johnson said on Friday that he had accepted Hancock’s apology and believed that the matter was over, but the latter faced increasing pressure to step down.
Hancock said in his letter of appointment: “When we disappointed them by violating guidelines like I did, we should thank the people who made such great sacrifices in this pandemic.”
Johnson replied that he was sorry to receive it.
“You should be extremely proud of your service,” he wrote. “I thank you for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.”
-Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 26, 2021
The main opposition Labour Party also questioned whether he violated the Ministerial Code: This lady is an old friend of Hancock, was appointed as a non-executive director, paid by taxpayers, and is responsible for overseeing the operation of his ministry.
Labour Party leader Kil Starmer said on Twitter that Hancock was right to resign. “But Boris Johnson should fire him,” he added.
With 128,000 deaths in the UK, one of the countries with the highest official death toll due to COVID-19 in the world, Hancock, who has been in office for nearly three years, has been severely criticized for his initial handling of the pandemic.
However, Johnson’s Conservative government was encouraged by the rapid launch of the vaccine program. 84% of adults received a single dose and 61% of adults received both, far ahead of most other countries.