Mr Hancock resigned today the day after video footage emerged of him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo in his ministerial office in a breach of coronavirus restrictions.
Images and video showed Mr Hancock in an embrace with aide Coladangelo last month, and the Health Secretary was facing increasing pressure to quit over the breaking of social-distancing rules.
Ms Coladangelo is also reportedly leaving her position on the board of the Department of Health.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has led reaction to Matt Hancock’s resignation as Health Secretary, tweeting: ‘Matt Hancock is right to resign. But Boris Johnson should have sacked him’
Mr Hancock said sorry for breaking social distancing and asked for ‘privacy’ for his family, but refused to resign as Health Secretary
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey condemned Mr Hancock on Twitter, writing: ‘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.’
Several other senior members of Labour have reacted to the news. Party chair Anneliese Dodds tweeted: ‘A Health Secretary who behaved like rules didn’t apply to him. A Prime Minister who didn’t have the guts to remove him.
‘A government riddled with sleaze. Now Matt Hancock has gone, the Prime Minister must clean up this crony government.’
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: ‘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?
‘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.’
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: Why did Boris Johnson back Matt Hancock, why did he say that the matter was closed on Friday and why didn’t he have the guts to sack him?
‘Boris Johnson has demonstrated that he has none of the judgement, ethics or leadership qualities required of a Prime Minister.’
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘Matt Hancock should have resigned over the Serco contract, the Care Home deaths, the PPE disaster and the treatment of NHS workers and carers.’
Earlier today three Tory MPs broke ranks and called for Hancock’s resignation as part of a growing backbench rebellion.
The calls were joined by protesters calling for the Health Secretary’s arrest after a second video of the toe-curling kiss with a married aide emerged.
Duncan Baker this morning became the first Conservative MP to go against the Prime Minister – who yesterday personally backed Mr Hancock to stay on and said he ‘considered the matter closed’.
Mr Baker, MP for North Norfolk, told his local newspaper that the Health Secretary ‘has fallen short’ of ‘the appropriate morals and ethics’ that apply to someone in his position – and said he told the Government his feelings ‘in the strongest possible terms’.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary and Tory MP for Tatton Esther McVey also urged Mr Hancock to step down, adding: ‘If it had been me, I would have resigned myself.’
Veteran Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope has joined the growing list of Conservatives calling on Matt Hancock to resign, saying his constituents were ‘seething’.
The MP for Christchurch told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme that the annual general meeting of his local party association had ‘unanimously called on Matt Hancock to resign immediately’ and he said he felt this reflected the mood of the public.
Earlier today three Tory MPs broke ranks and called for Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s resignation as part of a growing backbench rebellion
‘I thought you said the rules were for everyone’, reads a heartbreaking speech bubble from the masked Queen, who was forced to sit through her husband’s funeral alone in line with social distancing guidelines.
Hilarious memes shared online today include a picture of Mr Hancock sliding down a slide ‘into Gina Coladangelo’s Whatsapp’ and the Health Secretary with a pair of women’s pants over his head.
Another meme shows Mr Hancock doing press ups next to Chris Hemsworth with the caption: ‘How we see Matt Hancock Vs how Gina Coladangelo sees him’.
Stills of Mr Hancock belting out Queen anthem Don’t Stop Me Now at the 2017 Conservative Party Conference were tabbed up with the caption: ‘It was only a kiss, how did it end up like this?’
Morgan shared an image of the Health Secretary, 42, embracing Gina Coladangelo next to a picture of the Queen sitting alone at Prince Philip’s funeral