Matt Hancock resigns: Prime Minister Boris Johnson's reply to health secretary's letter
"You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved ... I believe your contribution to public service is far from over"
Prime Minister Boris Johnson s reply to Matt Hancock accepting the health secretary's resignation over admissions of breaking Covid-19 rules:
Thank you for your letter this evening, tendering your resignation as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I am sorry to receive it.
You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved - not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before COVID-19 struck us. Under your leadership, the Department has led fundamental reforms to the provision of care in this country. The NHS Long Term Plan was a major milestone in the history of that great institution. Your work on the Health and Care Bill will support our NHS and deliver greater integration between health and social care. And your efforts mean that we have a record numbers of doctors and over 14,800 more nurses working in our NHS than last year.
Above all, it has been your task to deal with a challenge greater than that faced by any of your predecessors, and in fighting Covid you have risen to that challenge - with the abundant energy, intelligence and determination that are your hallmark. Under your leadership, the Department for Health and Social Care has identified and deployed critical life-saving treatments such as Dexamethasone, rapidly increased hospital capacity through the Nightingale programme, and provided 11.7 billion items of PPE to the frontline at record speed. In March 2020, we had the capacity to test 2,000 people a day; now, we have built the largest diagnostic network in British history and have administered over 200 million tests. The vaccine procurement and deployment programme - in my view one of the greatest successes of the modern state - is now forging our path out of the pandemic.
READ THIS: Matt Hancock's resignation letter in full
Through the establishment of the United Kingdom Health Security Agency, you have also built the foundations to ensure that the UK is better prepared for any future pandemic. You made a considerable contribution to Government before becoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I know that previous Prime Ministers were grateful for your work in ministerial positions in the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, the Cabinet Office, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. You have, across those roles, been a consistent and vigorous champion of the power of digital transformation.
You should be immensely proud of your service. I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.