Matt Hancock resigns, | NEIL HALL

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Britain's health minister Matt Hancock has resigned after he admitted breaking COVID-19 guidance by kissing and embracing an aide in his office, angering colleagues and the public during lockdown.

Downing Street this evening published Hancock's resignation letter to Boris Johnson and the prime minister's response, in which he said he was sorry to receive it.

"We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic," Hancock said in the letter. "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."