Iain Duncan Smith: Sajid Javid agitating to get UK out of lockdown
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Former health secretary Matt Hancock resigned over the weekend after he admitted breaching social distancing guidelines. He announced his resignation and issued an apology after CCTV footage showed him embracing a colleague, Gina Coladangelo, in a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) office.
The still images and video clip was taken on May 6, 2021 – just 11 days before the rules related to hugging were relaxed on May 17.
In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Hancock said the Government “owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down”.
In a video shared on Twitter, the former health secretary said: “I have been to see the Prime Minister to resign as secretary of state for health and social care.
“I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made, that you have made, and those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I have got to resign.”
Mr Johnson said he was “sorry” to receive the resignation, but within 90 minutes had announced Sajid Javid as his successor.
Speaking after the announcement, the former chancellor said he is “honoured” to have been chosen as Mr Hancock’s replacement.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt described Mr Javid’s appointment to the role as an “excellent choice”, saying it was the best possible news for social care because his time at the Department for Communities and Local Government meant he “gets it”.
But Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth criticised the PM’s choice of replacement.
He said, “given his record on austerity, it’s a bit like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop.”
Response to Mr Javid’s appointment was split among Express.co.uk readers and social media users.
One Express.co.uk poll respondent said: “I’ve never understood why people with zero relevant experience in the field end up running huge government departments. You wouldn’t expect the head of the Navy to have never been to sea would you?”
Another commented: “Javid is an accountant. We should have someone with experience and a scientific background who understands the issues.”
One Twitter user wrote: “One of my worst fears concerning Hancock’s replacement has come to fruition. Sajid Javid is now Health Secretary. God help us all. I do not trust this man one iota. This is a man who was sucking up to BLM not long ago. We are yet again officially screwed! Change my mind!”
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Some people however were quick to defend the new Health Secretary.
One Express.co.uk reader wrote: “Saj is proven as a minister with integrity by resigning over principle last time round…he doesn’t need to be the greatest health expert, we have loads of them, he needs to be trusted implicitly by the public…I wish him well.”
Another added: “He’s definitely the right man. He will do as he’s jolly well told. Get the country open and start lifting stupid lockdown.”
One person wrote: “At least Sajid has some gravitas and a lot of relevant business experience. I think he will do a good job.”
Another person said: “He starts with an advantage inasmuch as he surely can’t be any worse than Matt Hancock.”
But how did Express.co.uk readers vote in a recent poll?
According to a poll published on Express.co.uk, when asked which politician is the best candidate for Matt Hancock’s replacement – Mr Javid came out in second place behind Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Overall, 1,225 people took part in the poll, with 447 people or 38 percent backing Mr Zahawi.
Sajid Javid came out in second place winning 26 percent – 328 people – of the vote.
Other candidates received the following levels of support:
- Don’t know – 9 percent – 100 people
- Michael Gove – 8 percent – 94 people
- Someone else – 7 percent – 78 people
- Dominic Raab – 6 percent – 67 people
- Helen Whatley – 3 percent – 33 people
- Grant Shapps – 1 percent – 20 people
- Alok Sharma – 1 percent – 21 people
- Gavin Williamson – 1 percent – 23 people
- Robert Buckland – 0 percent – 6 people
- Ben Wallace – 0 percent – 6 people.
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