It is a sensational image: Matt Hancock in a passionate embrace with a female aide. The Health Secretary today apologised for breaching the Government’s Covid rules on social distancing after CCTV pictures emerged of him kissing Gina Coladangelo in his office at the Department of Health.
"I have let people down and am very sorry," he said, but refused to resign. Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted the apology and "considers the matter closed".
The footage was reportedly taken in early May – when hugging someone from another household was banned under guidance. A Number 10 spokesman refused to confirm that Mr Hancock had not broken the law.
Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hope has the latest developments, as a Whitehall investigation is launched into how the images were leaked.
Deputy Political Editor Lucy Fisher explains why Mr Hancock’s indiscretion could not have come at a worse time for Mr Johnson.
The bombshell claims of Mr Hancock, a married father of three, conducting an affair with Ms Coladangelo – a millionaire lobbyist, who is also married with three children – left Westminster agog.
As the minister clings to his job, Health Correspondent Henry Bodkin asks: How has he managed to stay this long?
Meanwhile, Mr Hancock’s wife Martha’s oversized sunglasses could not quite hide her devastation outside their home today (video above). But internet users can be relied upon to lighten the mood.
No fully-jabbed under-50 has died from delta variant
A new report from Public Health England brings positive news. No fully-vaccinated under-50 has died from the delta variant of Covid – even though younger age groups make up 90 per cent of cases. It comes as the number of people with immunity against the virus is continuing to rise. Latest figures show that 82pc of the adult population have had at least one jab and 60pc have been fully vaccinated. Search for vaccine rates by postcode. As Science Editor Sarah Knapton reports, experts said that it appeared that the vaccines were winning the race against the variant.
Euro 2020: Sam Wallace’s knockout stage predictions
The Euro 2020 group stages are out of the way, meaning it is knockout football from here on in. Which big names could fall by the wayside in the last-16 – and who will reach the final? Chief Football Writer Sam Wallace attempts to predict the rest of the tournament (spoiler: it is not terrible news for England). Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas gives his verdict on England’s performance so far – he thinks they seem scared and tense. And, off the pitch, we rank the sideline fashion war of the managers.
At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing
- Travel | Bid to block Britons puts ‘Club Med’ economies in peril
- ‘Accustomed to confusion’ | Telegraph readers on green watchlist
- Data | Scotland’s Covid rate is more than double England’s
- ‘Reassuring’ | No major outbreaks after trial mass events
- Used cars | Prices soar as buyers splash lockdown savings
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Building collapse | A pregnant British mother, her husband and their one-year-old daughter are believed to be among 159 people still unaccounted for after an ocean-front apartment block in Miami collapsed in the middle of the night. A family member said Bhavna and Vishal Patel, along with daughter Aishani, were staying at the 12-storey building when it was reduced to rubble. US Correspondent Jamie Johnson has the latest from Miami as the cause is investigated.
- Derek Chauvin sentencing | Ex-officer may speak in court tonight
- GB News | Andrew Neil takes a break from new TV channel
- Russia | ‘Miscalculation’ could start full blown war, says Army chief
- Video | Rare tornado kills three and leaves trail of destruction
- US | Kamala Harris forced into border visit as shine comes off
Around the world: Chip workers kept ‘imprisoned’
Foreign workers in Taiwan are being "imprisoned" in dormitories, banned from brushing their teeth and told they will be cremated without their families if they die from Covid as factories struggle to maintain production of key microchips, it is claimed. Read our exclusive investigation from Asia Correspondent Nicola Smith and John Liu.
Friday long-read: Britney’s battle – Is she being protected by her father or abused?
As pop star Britney Spears reveals shocking details of her father’s conservatorship, Neil McCormick examines why it was imposed in the first place – and whether or not it has gone too far. Read the feature.
Britney Spears' personal life has been laid bare at a court hearing in Los Angeles
Comment and analysis
- Jeremy Warner | Tottering, ‘precious’ NHS cannot go on like this
- Telegraph View | EU has a duty to treat British citizens fairly
- Ben Marlow | Don’t blame Brexit for return of EU roaming charges
- Pravina Rudra | Cancel culture makes it impossible to learn
- Jemima Lewis | Mongoose parable for why humans are not fair
Business and money briefing
‘Great guns’ | The economy has already fully recovered from Covid after a "punchy" fightback from the worst recession in 300 years, the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane claimed. His bullish assessment puts the economic bounceback months ahead of the Bank’s forecasts.
- Fake reviews | Watchdog takes aim at Google and Amazon
- Sally Solves | ‘£200k inheritance blocked over mortgage error’
- On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day
Rugby | Scotland A’s clash with England will go ahead on Sunday, despite the Scottish Rugby Union confirming an unnamed player had tested positive for Covid, with eight others self-isolating. It will be England A’s first fixture since the 2016 two-game tour of South Africa. New coach John Mitchell has selected 11 uncapped players and a new captain.
- Tim Henman interview | ‘I felt numb after Goran Ivanisevic loss’
- Styrian Grand Prix | Max Verstappen completes practice double
- Race for the ages | 2020 delivered Tour de France like no other
Three things for tonight
- Watch | Glastonbury in the 90s, BBC Two and BBC Four, from 9pm
- Listen | Chopper’s Politics: ‘Have I said goodbye to being a minister?’
- Play | Telegraph Puzzles featuring today’s Crossword and Sudoku
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
Who was the real Jackie Collins? | Her glamorous persona was iconic and she sold more than 500 million books. But a new film reveals the untold story of ‘The Bonkbuster Queen’. Guy Kelly investigates what lay behind the leopard-print armour.
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