Matt Hancock has resigned as Health Secretary after breaching Covid-19 regulations.
In his letter of resignation to prime minister Boris Johnson, Mr Hancock said: “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 (to) be with my children at this time.”
Mr Hancock's resignation comes after images emerged of him kissing a close aide who he appointed in his office at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
He said he was “very sorry” for letting people down after The Sun published a CCTV image of him kissing Gina Coladangelo.
In a video posted on Twitter, Matt Hancock said: “I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made, you have made. And those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I’ve got to resign.
“I want to thank people for their incredible sacrifices and what they’ve done. Everybody working in the NHS, across social care, everyone involved in the vaccine programme and frankly everybody in this country who has risen to the challenges that we’ve seen over this past 18 months.”
MrJohnson 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.”