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Matt Hancock resigns: Sajid Javid vows to get country ‘back to normal’ as he takes over as health secretary – as it happened

Sajid Javid starts new role as health secretary after Matt Hancock resigns following photo of kiss with aide * Hancock was right to quit and put family first, minister says * Analysis: PM may pay political price for not sacking Hancock * Government to investigate leak of Matt Hancock CCTV footage * Matt Hancock resigns as health secretary after day of humiliation 3.16pm BST We’ve got to make sure that we are delivering for people in Northern Ireland, that we get the flexibility so that people in Northern Ireland have the same experience as they would anywhere else in the United Kingdom in terms of being able to receive products and goods. Now that’s a two-way thing and the EU needs to show the flexibility that they keep talking about. No, I wouldn’t do that. I think it was a very sensible move to put it back by four weeks and I don’t think we should rush into anything. 2.33pm BST Sajid Javid, the new health secretary, has just issued a statement through the press office at the Department for Health and Social Care. It echoes what he said in his TV clip earlier. (See 10.58am.) In the new statement he said: I’m incredibly honoured to take up the post of health and social care secretary, particularly during such an important moment in our recovery from Covid-19. This position comes with a huge responsibility and I will do everything I can to deliver for the people of this great country. Thanks to the fantastic efforts of our NHS and social care staff who work tirelessly every day, and our phenomenal vaccination programme, we have made enormous progress in the battle against this dreadful disease. I want our country to get out of this pandemic and that will be my most immediate priority. Compare and contrast with what Javid *actually* said about lifting restrictions “as soon and as quickly as possible”.. with what Health just put out. They’ve totally gutted the quote to a bland vague fudge with no mention of return to normality. New sheriff v old guard. Continue reading...

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