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Friday 29th September 2023 / 14 Rabiulawal 1445

Pakistan-origin Sajid Javid named UK health secretary

Sajid Javid previously served as home secretary and as chancellor. Source: The Sun

Sajid Javid previously served as home secretary and as chancellor. Source: The Sun

LONDON: Pakistan-origin Sajid Javid has been appointed as health secretary of the United Kingdom as he returns to a cabinet he abruptly left some 16 months ago.

The Bromsgrove MP, 51, previously served as home secretary from 2018 to 2019 and then as chancellor until February last year when he was replaced by Rishi Sunak.

Matt Hancock has resigned as the health secretary after a massive public outcry over controversial photographs which exposed him embracing his top aide in office and flouting Covid-19 protocol.

Sajid Javid now holds the prime responsibility of taking on the reigns of the country’s medical infrastructure amid what is arguably the toughest of recent medical crises — the Covid-19 pandemic.

Javid have to steer the United Kingdom out of what will hopefully be the final stages of the pandemic, but he will also need to catch up on a vast backlog of ministry operations, reported a British media outlet, adding that an anxious health sector is keeping a close watch on this transition.

Matt Hancock, in his resignation letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson a day prior, mentioned that the government owes “it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down.” N

Johnson was under mounting pressure to fire his health secretary after the admission that he broke Covid-19 guidelines by kissing the employee sparked accusations of blatant hypocrisy.

“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, taking responsibility for the current situation.

“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,” he said.

British tabloids ‘The Sun’ has released photos and videos of the minister in embracing his aide in an office at the Department of Health, evoking demands of resignation from the opposition Labour Party which termed his position “hopelessly untenable”.

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