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SNP: PM risks jeopardising public health measures by clinging on to Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock

Prime minister Boris Johnson “risks jeopardising vital public health measures” by retaining Matt Hancock as health secretary, the SNP has said.

Social not-distancing

The party has added to the growing pressure on Hancock to resign after he was caught kissing a close aide in breach of coronavirus restrictions. A video of Hancock in an embrace with Gina Coladangelo was published on 25 June by the Sun newspaper. It has sparked further calls for Hancock’s departure.

The SNP said there are “very serious questions” for Hancock and the incident cannot “simply be brushed under the carpet”.

Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo
Health secretary Matt Hancock and adviser Gina Coladangelo, pictured in May, were filmed embracing (Yui Mok/PA)

The SNP’s Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald said:

Boris Johnson risks jeopardising the vital public health measures in place the longer he desperately clings on to his shamed Health Secretary – just like he did with Dominic Cummings.

Read on...

The Prime Minister must at long last do the right thing and put his responsibilities to public health first.

There must be public confidence in those setting the rules and it cannot be the case that it is one rule for the Tory elite and another for the rest of us.

Despite declaring the matter closed, the reality is that it is anything but closed.

There are very serious questions for Matt Hancock to answer over the appointment of his aide to the lucrative position, as well as questions over whether or not Hancock broke the ministerial code.

This cannot simply be brushed under the carpet.

The Prime Minister must remove the Health Secretary from his position immediately, and there must be a full independent public inquiry into Tory sleaze and cronyism without any further delay.

Prime Minister’s Questions
The SNP’s Kirsten Oswald said there are ‘very serious questions’ for Matt Hancock (House of Commons/PA)

Furious bereaved families

In a statement on 24 June, Hancock said:

I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances, I have let people down and am very sorry. 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.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson had accepted Hancock’s apology and “considers the matter closed”.

A snap poll by Savanta ComRes, released hours after photographs of the pair kissing in Hancock’s ministerial office surfaced, found 58% of UK adults feel he should resign. Meanwhile 25% of respondents said he should stay in post.

The Covid-19 Bereaved Families For Justice group, which represents those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, also called for Hancock to go.

In a letter to the prime minister, the group said it has broken its “position of neutrality on ministerial conduct” in order to urge Johnson to relieve Hancock of his job.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Because the SNP have made such a statement, Labour will now demand that Mr Hancock is restored to his post. Bodger Broon, failed PM, will be wheeled out to express his support for this BRITISH worker resuming his BRITISH job. Keir Starmer will announce that such a GREAT patriot as Mr Hancock is the kind of person who puts the GREAT in GREAT BRITAIN, and demand that the OBON anthem precede all his appearances.

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