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April 13, 2023
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock apologized Friday after a front-page expose showed him kissing an aide, saying he was “very sorry” for breaking his social-distancing rules.
“I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances,” the 42-year-old politician said of the images, one of which showed him grabbing Coladangelo’s behind as they kissed. “I have let people down and am very sorry,” Hancock said in a statement, while insisting he would stay on. “I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter,” he said.
A source from 10 Downing Street stated that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted Matt Hancock’s apology and considers the matter closed. 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.
Members of the Labour Party feel that Matt Hancock’s position is untenable. 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”.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE GUARDIAN