James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Matt Hancock's resignation letter in full
26 June 2021, 20:20
This is the full text of Matt Hancock's resignation letter
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic. The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis. I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need be with my children at this time.
We owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance.
The NHS is the best gift a nation has ever given itself, and the dedication and courage of the NHS staff and the ceaseless work of the officials in the Department is something we should all be proud of. We didn't get every decision right but I know people understand how hard it is to deal with the unknown, making the difficult trade-offs between freedom, prosperity and health that we have faced. I am so proud that Britain avoided the catastrophe of an overwhelmed NHS and that through foresight and brilliant science we have led the world in the vaccination effort, so we stand on the brink of a return to normality.
The reforms we have started in the health system will ensure it continues to provide even better care for people in years to come. We are building a better NHS which makes smarter use of technology and data, forming a new UK Health Security Agency, delivering positive changes to mental health care and will fix the problems in social care once and for all.
Many times I stood at the podium in Downing Street and thanked the team - my own team, the NHS, the volunteers, the Armed Services, our pharmacists GPs, the pharmaceutical industry and the whole British public who have made such sacrifices to help others. Those thanks are heartfelt and sincere and so I must resign.
It has been the honour of my life to serve in your Cabinet as Secretary of State and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. I will of course continue to support you in whatever way I can from the back benches, and I would like to thank you for your unwavering support, your leadership and your optimism, particularly as we worked together to overcome this awful disease.