UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to sack Matt Hancock for breaching COVID-19 rules by kissing his senior aide in front of his Whitehall office, saying he accepted the Health Secretary's apology and considered "the matter closed."
Hancock admitted he "let people down" being sorry for flouting social distancing rules.
"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," he said.
The UK PM's spokesman said that Boris Johnson had full confidence in the Health Secretary, and "all the correct procedures were followed" in hiring Gina Coladangelo, who is paid £15,000 per year for around 15 days of work as an advisor for Hancock. Even though, Johnson was called "spineless" for refusing to fire Hancock, while media wrote that UK PM several times called Health Sec "hopeless."
"Matt Hancock appears to have been caught breaking the laws he created while having a secret relationship with an aide he appointed to a taxpayer-funded job. The Prime Minister recently described him as ‘useless’ – the fact that even now he still can’t sack him shows how spineless he is," a Labour spokesperson told the press.
Previously, the Queen having her first in-person audience in the last 15 months with Johnson referred to Hancock as "your secretary of state for health, poor man."
Coladangelo, a millionaire and a mother-of-three, works as a communications director at her husband’s Oliver Tress company - Oliver Bonas. She met Hancock when they worked on the Oxford University student radio station in the 1990s.