Boris Johnson says Matt Hancock should be ‘very proud’ – resignation statement in full

Matt Hancock announces he’s resigned as health secretary

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has stepped down from his ministerial role in Government following video footage and photos relased showing him kissing senior aide, Gina Coladangelo, in the Department in Whitehall. Mr Hancock felt pressure to resign following the events, especially when he broke social distancing guidance the whole country was expected to adhere to. A statement released from Mr Hancock on Saturday said he felt he “owed it” to the country and health service to step down. 

Mr Hancock resigned in the form of a signed letter, headed with the Department of Health and Social Care logo. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he accepts the Health Secretary’s resignation. 

The two are understood to have been on good terms, but a leaked WhatsApp text exchange between the Prime Minister and former senior aide Dominic Cummings saw Mr Hancock described as “hopeless”. 

At one point, the Prime Minister was even considering swapping Mr Hancock for Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove, as per the WhatsApp messages. 

Boris Johnson’s statement in full 

Written in response to Mr Hancock’s letter of resignation, the Prime Minister said: “Thank you for your letter this evening, tendering your resignation as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I am sorry to receive it. 

“You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before COVID-19 struck us. 

“Under your leadership, the Department has led fundamental reforms to the provision of care in this country. 

“The NHS Long Term Plan was a major milestone in the history of that great institution. 

“Your work on the Health and Care Bill will support our NHS and deliver greater integration between health and social care.

“And your efforts mean that we have a record number of doctors and over 14,800 more nurses working in our NHS than last year.” 

Continuing, Mr Johnson penned: “Above all, it has been your task to deal with a challenge greater than that faced by any of your predecessors, and in fighting Covid you have risen to that challenge – with the abundant energy, intelligence and determination that are your hallmark. 

“Under your leadership, the Department for Health and Social Care has identified and deployed critical life-saving treatments such as Dexamethasone, rapidly increased hospital capacity through the Nightingale programme, and provided 11.7billion items of PPE to the frontline at record speed. 

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“In March 2020, we had the capacity to test 2,000 people a day; now, we have built the largest diagnostic network in British history and have administered over 200million tests. 

“The vaccine procurement and deployment programme – in my view one of the greater successes of the modern state – is now forging our path out of the pandemic. 

“Through the establishment of the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, you have also built the foundation to ensure the UK is better prepared for any future pandemic. 

“You made a considerable contribution to Government before becoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. 

“I know that the previous Prime Ministers were grateful for your work in ministerial positions in the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, the Cabinet Office, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 

“You have, across these roles, been a consistent and vigorous champion of the power of digital transformation. 

“You should be immensely proud of your service. I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.”

Mr Hancock will continue in his role as MP for West Suffolk, a seat he has held since 2010, and will contribute to Parliament via the back benches. 

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