Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary because he felt “isolated” after the affair

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock gives an interview to Sky outside the BBC before appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on May 16, 2021 in London, England. Tonight's show comes a day before the UK further eases its Covid-19 lockdown measures, allowing more indoor activities and mixing of different households. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

He also revealed that his final resignation statement was filmed on a mobile phone by Boris Johnson (Image: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Matt Hancock claims he resigned as Health Secretary because he felt “increasingly isolated” following the backlash over his affair.

He and aide Gina Coladangelo were pictured kissing in breach of the Tory’s own social distancing guidelines last May.

In the latest excerpt of his diary, published by The Mail+, Mr Hancock said Boris Johnson had assured him he could carry on despite the uproar.

The Covid guidelines at the time prohibited physical contact with people from separate households.

After the story broke in The Sun last year, Mr Hancock said he felt “increasingly isolated” politically and had no choice but to quit.

He also revealed that his final statement of resignation was filmed on a mobile phone by Mr Johnson.

Mr Hancock said he had to take repetitive shots because the camera panned up and down so much.

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Matt Hancock was caught on camera having a passionate clinch outside his Whitehall office with assistant Gina Coladangelo. Recorded without permission from Sun Paper

Matt Hancock outside his Whitehall office kissed Gina Coladangelo last May (Image: tbethel)

The release of his Pandemic Diaries coincides with his return to Westminster from Australia after his controversial appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

In the diaries, Mr Hancock records meeting the Prime Minister at Downing Street on June 24, 2021 to let him know what The Sun intended to publish.

Mr Johnson reportedly replied: “Well you haven’t broken the law. The guidelines are not binding – they are recommendations. So I will stand by you.’

However, over the weekend Mr Hancock said he had realized his position had become untenable.

WORKSOP, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock and Prime Minister Boris Johnson visit Bassetlaw District General Hospital on November 22, 2019 in Worksop, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong - WPA-Pool/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson initially vowed to stand by Matt Hancock (Image: Getty Images)

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock (13618040h) Trial of Bush Tucker - Tentacles of Terror: Matt Hancock

The former Health Secretary released his ‘Pandemic Diaries’ following the return of I’m A Celebrity (Image: James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

“Privately, I still get positive messages from colleagues. In public, few were willing to defend me. I was increasingly isolated politically,” he wrote.

‘I went to Checkers to see the Prime Minister. I explained that I had thought about what had happened and how people had felt about it – and that I had made my decision. The damage to my family and the government was too great.

“I told Boris that I have to resign.”

Mr Hancock also described this farcical scene in the Garden of Checkers – the Prime Minister’s official country residence – as they attempted to film his declaration of resignation.

“In the end, the great state machine was nowhere. It was just me and the PM fiddling around with an iPhone. He was standing on the grass holding the phone while I said my part. It took a few tries to get it right,” he wrote.

“He nodded so much sympathetic encouragement during the first shot that the camera waved up and down. It wasn’t perfect in the end, but I didn’t care: I had to get it out.

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Justin Scacco

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