Matt Hancock affair: Health secretary apologises for breaking social distancing guidelines (report)

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Matt Hancock affair: Health secretary apologises for breaking social distancing guidelines (report)
Matt Hancock affair: Health secretary apologises for breaking social distancing guidelines (report)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted breaking social distancing guidance after pictures of him kissing an aide were published in a newspaper.

He said he had “let people down” after photos emerged of him with Gina Coladangelo – whom he appointed – and he was “very sorry”.

Labour urged the PM to sack Mr Hancock, calling his position “untenable”.

But Downing Street said Boris Johnson accepted Mr Hancock’s apology and considered the matter closed.

A spokesman added that the prime minister had full confidence in the health secretary.

The Sun reported that its pictures of Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo, who are both married with three children, had been taken inside the Department of Health on 6 May.

Social distancing at work is not a legal requirement, but the government recommends that people keep 2m apart where possible – or 1m with “risk mitigation”, such as standing side-by-side or wearing masks.

Labour Party chairwoman Annaliese Dodds said of Mr Hancock: “He set the rules. He admits he broke them. He has to go.

“If he won’t resign, the PM should sack him.”

And a Labour spokesperson said the matter was “definitely not closed, despite the government’s attempts to cover it up”.

The government believes no laws were broken because Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo were both in the department for legitimate work purposes, sources say.

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