Pressure builds on UK’s Johnson to fire health secretary – News Vibe24

    Pressure builds on UK's Johnson to fire health secretary - Times of India
    LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under intense pressure on Saturday to fire his health minister after admitting to violating Covid-19 instructions by kissing an official who sparked allegations of blatant hypocrisy.
    Matt Hancock, 42, has been at the forefront of the government’s fight against the pandemic, saying it is common for people to follow strict rules and even welcoming the resignation last year of a senior scientist who similarly violated restrictions.
    Hancock apologized Friday after The Sun showed him kissing and hugging a senior assistant in his office last month, at a time when it was against the rules for people to have close contact with someone outside the household. their.
    The opposition Labor Party also questioned whether it had violated the ministerial code: the woman, a longtime friend of Hancock, was appointed as a non-executive director, with a tax-funded salary, to oversee and control the operation of her ministry. .
    “I accept that he violated social distance guidance under these circumstances,” Hancock said. “I have disappointed people and I am very sorry.”
    Johnson said Friday that he believes the matter is closed.
    But Britain’s leading newspapers, all of which made headlines, said Hancock had lost any moral authority and should leave. A lawmaker in his party, Duncan Baker, has asked him to resign.
    “Mr. Hancock can not now hope to put on a straight face and tell us how to behave and seriously expect to hear,” The Sun said in the leader’s column. “There is a deep smell of hypocrisy.”
    With 128,000 deaths, Britain has one of the highest official death rates since Covid-19 in the world.
    While new daily cases have risen in the past month, with nearly 16,000 reports on Friday, a rapid vaccine supply appears to have broken the link between infections and deaths, and most restrictions could be eased by July 19th.
    The British have largely accepted the imposition of rules designed to curb the virus, but Hancock’s revelation was compared to an incident last year when Johnson’s then-senior adviser, Dominique Cummings, also broke the rules, sparking outrage. the country.
    Johnson, the prime minister since 2019, has repeatedly refused to fire ministers, including his interior minister, who was found to have broken the rules by shouting and swearing at staff, prompting the official ethics adviser to resign.
    The prime minister himself has been criticized in an official report on his personal finances.
    And the country’s spending watchdog has criticized the way the government has awarded billions of pounds in anti-Covid-19 contracts following multi-million pound orders from companies with links to ministers, lawmakers and officials.
    The Ministry of Health said it must move quickly.
    The revelations led to accusations of kronony and incompetence, although Johnson’s Conservative Party remains comfortably ahead of opinion polls. The Times said Johnson’s approach to governance jeopardized public support.
    “The danger is that this arrogant approach to the rules becomes corrosive to the most valuable asset for any government – public trust,” he said.
    Hancock, who is married, said he is now focusing on getting the country out of the pandemic and has asked for secrecy for his family.


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