Defiant Boris Johnson rejects calls to sack Matt Hancock

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Defiant Boris Johnson Rejects Calls To Sack Matt Hancock Defiant Boris Johnson Rejects Calls To Sack Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo (left) outside BBC Broadcasting House, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Gavin Cordon, Emma Bowden and Patrick Daly, PA

British prime minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls to sack Matt Hancock, after the UK health secretary admitted breaching his government’s rules on social distancing.

Mr Hancock apologised after images emerged of him kissing a close aide who he appointed in his office at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Labour said that his position had become “hopelessly untenable” and called for him to be sacked if he was not prepared to not quit voluntarily.

However, a Downing Street spokesman said that Mr Johnson had accepted Mr Hancock’s apology and “considers the matter closed”.

Mr Hancock said he was “very sorry” for letting people down after The Sun published a CCTV image of him kissing Gina Coladangelo.

The paper reported that the health secretary was having an extramarital affair with Ms Coladangelo, who he knew from their days together at Oxford University and who he appointed to the DHSC last year.

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She was initially taken on as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March last year, before being appointed as a non-executive director at the department.

In a statement, Mr Hancock said: “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances, I have let people down and am very sorry,” he said.

“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.”

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