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Sunday, September 24, 2023

British-Pakistani Sajid Javid returns to cabinet as UK’s health secretary

The former chancellor of the exchequer and home secretary replaced Hancock after he was forced to resign for breaking Covid rules.

Sajid Javid’s appointment comes after Mr. Hancock stepped down on on Saturday for breaching Covid rules by kissing his aide. Sajid Javid who had earlier left the cabinet abruptly was then asked to return to the cabinet as the health minister.

The Bromsgrove MP, 51, previously worked as home secretary from 2018 to 2019 – and then as chancellor until February last year, when he was replaced by Rishi Sunak.

“The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care,” a short press release from the government read on Saturday.

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‘’We are still in a pandemic and I want to see that come to an end as soon as possible, and that will be my most immediate priority to see that we can return to normal as soon and as quickly as possible’’, said Javid. However, his appointment was criticized by the Labour Party which believes that he had been an “architect of austerity” that weakened the NHS.

Mr Hancock announced his resignation after pressure had been building for him to step down following the release of pictures and a video of him and Gina Coladangelo, who are both married with three children, kissing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had initially supported his health secretary after Hancock admitted breaking COVID social distancing rules, while at the same time he was urging the public to follow the measures put in place.

However, Hancock quit in a letter to Johnson saying, ‘’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 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’’, he wrote. The PM said that he was sorry to receive his resignation and was and that he should be “immensely proud” of his service.

Talking to the reporters about Hancock, Javid said that he had achieved “a lot” in the role, adding “I’m sure he will have more to offer in public life”.