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UK Health Secretary Steps Down

The UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, has resigned after violating COVID-19 restrictions, the Associated Press reports.

The UK tabloid the Sun published pictures of Hancock kissing an aide that it said was taken in early May before COVID-19 restrictions preventing physical contact between individuals from different households were eased, the AP says, noting that both Hancock and the aide are married to others. This prompted calls for Hancock, who, as health minister, implemented the restrictions, to step down, it adds.

"People have made huge sacrifices to beat the pandemic," Andrew Bridgen, an MP, tells BBC News. "And what riles them is the whiff of hypocrisy that people make the rules and don't stick to them themselves."

Hancock resigned Saturday. He previously apologized for the breaching the restrictions, Reuters reports.

The AP notes that other officials in the UK have been caught in violation of social distancing rules including Dominic Cummings and Neil Ferguson, and that when Ferguson's violation came to light, Hancock said the restrictions "are there for everyone."

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