UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to get rid of Health Secretary Matt Hancock after pictures emerged of him kissing a married aide.
Hancock, who has been branded a hypocrite for preaching to the nation to hug “carefully”, has apologised for breaking his own social distancing rules after the Sun released CCTV footage showing him canoodling with aide Gina Coladangelo. The footage was reportedly taken in his Westminster offices in May.
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MSN reports: The prime minister’s spokesperson yesterday said Johnson had accepted the health secretary’s apology and now considered “the matter closed”.
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But pressure is growing on Johnson to oust Hancock as critics said the revelations of the tryst had made his position untenable.
A group representing the families of Covid victims has written to the prime minister urging him to sack the health secretary if he fails to resign.
The Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group said failing to remove Hancock could lead to a “Cummings effect” and people breaking the rules — a reference to a scandal last year when then-Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings broke Covid rules by driving to Barnard Castle.
n its leader column this morning the Sun, which published the photos, said: “Mr Hancock cannot now hope to put on a straight face and tell us how to behave and seriously expect us to listen. There is the rank stench of hypocrisy.”
Today the first Tory MP also spoke out against Hancock, saying he had “fallen short” and calling for his resignation.
Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, told the Eastern Daily Press: “As an MP who is a devoted family man, married for twelve years with a wonderful wife and children, standards and integrity matter to me. I will not in any shape condone this behaviour, and I have in the strongest possible terms told the government what I think.”
Labour has also questioned whether Hancock breached the ministerial code by hiring a woman who had been a friend for years — the latest accusation of cronyism to hit Johnson’s Conservative government.