It's right Hancock quit but he should have been fired, says Keir Starmer

26 June 2021, 19:34 | Updated: 27 June 2021, 10:46

Keir Starmer said Boris Johnson should have fired Matt Hancock
Keir Starmer said Boris Johnson should have fired Matt Hancock. Picture: PA

By Daisy Stephens

MPs have reacted to Matt Hancock's resignation after footage was leaked showing him kissing his aide Gina Colangelo.

A number of MPs have welcomed Mr Hancock's resignation, but some argue that Boris Johnson did not do enough.

Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted: "Matt Hancock is right to resign. But Boris Johnson should have sacked him."

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth also criticised Boris Johnson for failing to fire Mr Hancock.

“It is right that Matt Hancock has resigned. But why didn't Boris Johnson have the guts to sack him and why did he say the matter was closed?" Said Mr Ashworth.

“Boris Johnson has demonstrated that he has none of the leadership qualities required of a Prime Minister.

“Hancock's replacement cannot carry on business as usual. On Hancock's watch waiting times soared, care homes were left exposed to Covid and NHS staff were badly let down. Our NHS deserves much better."

Read more: Hancock quits as health secretary saying: “Those who make the rules have to stick by them”

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Labour is not the only party to condemn Mr Johnson's failure to sack Mr Hancock, with the SNP's Ian Blackford calling it a "massive failure of leadership".

The SNP Westminster leader tweeted: "Massive failure of leadership by @BorisJohnson Hancock should have been sacked. A fish rots from its head. So does this UK Government. In Scotland of course we will face a choice on our future. We can say goodbye to the chaos and failure of UK leadership and take a step forward."

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey also criticised Boris Johnson for not sacking Mr Hancock, and said it reflected badly on the prime minister's judgement.

Mr Davey tweeted: "Matt Hancock’s legacy as Health Secretary will be one of cronyism and failure. And the fact that Boris Johnson thought Hancock could just carry on regardless brings the Prime Minister’s judgement into question once again."

However, not everyone has criticised Mr Hancock.

Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland Dehenna Davison said she was "grateful" for the former health secretary's work.

She tweeted: "A tough decision, but the right one.

"Matt has worked his socks off as Health Secretary, and I’ll always be especially grateful to him for the role he played in helping us beat COVID. Let’s come together to finish the job."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "sorry" to receive Matt Hancock's resignation as health secretary."

He said Mr Hancock "should leave office very proud of what you have achieved - not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us".

Mr Johnson added: "I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over."