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by Jack Thomson
28 June 2021
Sajid Javid steps in as UK health secretary following Matt Hancock resignation

Matt Hancock (left) and Sajid Javid (right) Picture: Alamy

Sajid Javid steps in as UK health secretary following Matt Hancock resignation

Former chancellor Sajid Javid has replaced Matt Hancock as UK health secretary, following his resignation on Saturday evening. 

Hancock faced calls to quit after footage emerged showing him in an embrace with aide Gina Coladangelo - a breach of social distancing rules. 

The Sun published pictures of Hancock and his colleague, who are both married, kissing, and said they were from inside the Department of Health on 6 May. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister Hancock said the last thing he wants is for his "private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis".

He apologised to the public for breaking guidance and to his family, adding the government "owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down".

Hancock also paid tribute to NHS staff and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials, admitting that “we didn’t get every decision right”.

The 42-year-old MP had been in his most recent cabinet post since July of 2018, overseeing the brief during the coronavirus pandemic - a public health crisis which has claimed more than 128,000 lives in the UK.  

Javid said he was "honoured" to have been asked to take on the role "at this critical time". 

He added: "I look forward to contributing to our fight against the pandemic, and serving my country from the cabinet once again."

Javid is due to update MPs later on the timing of the lifting of COVID measures in England.

Boris Johnson said the remaining restrictions will ease on 19 July, but said there would be a data review to check if this can happen two weeks earlier on 5 July. The Commons is expected to be given the details of this review.

England's initially proposed date of 21 June for the easing of restrictions was delayed because of concerns of the spread of the more infectious Delta variant. 

Read the most recent article written by Jack Thomson - Leader of the flock: 25 years on from Dolly the Sheep

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