MATT Hancock has tonight resigned after footage of his clinch with a senior aide at work was published by The Sun.
The Health Minister quit his government post in the wake of mounting pressure from colleagues within the Conservative party.
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His resignation came despite PM Boris Johnson yesterday refusing to fire the embattled Health Secretary.
MP Duncan Baker, who represents North Norfolk, became the first serving Conservative to openly call for him to quit.
He said: “In my view, people in high public office and great positions of responsibility should act with the appropriate morals and ethics that come with that role.
“Matt Hancock – on a number of measures – has fallen short of that.”
Then Work and Pensions Secretary and Tory MP for Tatton Esther McVey has urged Mr Hancock to step down.
It comes as:
She said: “If it had been me, I would have resigned myself.”
This morning, Mr Hancock faced fresh embarrassment when an ally booked in to defend him on the radio failed to turn up.
The unnamed supporter was due to be interviewed this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme – but presenters Mishal Husain and Martha Kearney were forced to explain that he’s “not been answering his phone”.
The pair told listeners: “We had been expecting to speak to a supporter of Matt Hancock this morning but he’s not been answering his phone. We will keep trying.”
Veteran Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope joined the growing list calling on Hancock to resign, saying his constituents were “seething”.
The MP for Christchurch told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that the AGM of his local party association had “unanimously called on Matt Hancock to resign immediately”.
He said: “They felt that he was in breach of the ministerial code; that he was in breach of the lockdown regulations; that he is the person who has been passing the laws, signing off the regulations, requiring people to comply with restrictions upon their freedom – many of which people don’t agree with – but they’ve complied with out of respect for the rule of law.
“And they’re absolutely seething now, that having made sacrifices themselves, including not seeing loved ones and all the rest of it, they find that the person who was in charge of all this feels free to not comply with his own regulations and I think that’s the essence of it really.”
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He added: “I agree with that. I think that his position is untenable. For that reason, the sooner he does the honourable thing and announces his resignation, the better – because otherwise it is not going to go away.
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