British health minister Matt Hancock resigned from office after he was pictured breaking his own COVID-19 rules.
The minister was caught kissing an aide in his office, sparking public anger, who have been living under lockdown.
Media reports confirmed the photos were taken during May 6 — 11 days before lockdown rules were eased across the country.
Hancock, 42, submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Boris Johnson shortly after the photos were published by The Sun newspaper.
The Sun showed Hancock kissing the aide in his office last month, at a time when it was against the rules for people to have intimate contact with a person outside their household.
In the resignation letter, Hancock said the government owed it “to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down.”
“And those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I’ve got to resign,” he wrote.
“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,” Hancock wrote.
“I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this,” he said. “I also need (to) be with my children at this time.”
Johnson said he was sorry to receive Hancock’s resignation and that he “should leave office very proud of what you have achieved — not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before COVID-19 struck us.”
With 128,000 deaths, Britain has one of the highest official death tolls from Covid-19 in the world.