Matt Hancock: Boris Johnson refuses to sack embattled Health Secretary after breach of social distancing rules while being pictured kissing top adviser Gina Coladangelo

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls to sack Matt Hancock after the Health Secretary admitted breaching the Government's rules on social distancing.

On Friday, the Sun published pictures of the married Cabinet minister appearing to kiss Gina Coladangelo, who the newspaper said was hired by Mr Hancock last year.

The images, which appear to be captured from CCTV footage, were taken on May 6 from the headquarters of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The Government’s road map out of lockdown said people should continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble until May 17 - 11 days after the photo of Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo was allegedly taken.

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The embattled Health Secretary has apologised for the incident, but refused to step down.

In a statement, he said: “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances.

"I have let people down and am very sorry.”

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Pressure is growing on embattled Health Secretary Matt Hancock amid accusation of an affair with an adviser to his department.

He added: “I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter.”

Labour said that his position had become "hopelessly untenable" and called for him to be sacked if he was not prepared to not quit voluntarily.

But Boris Johnson has has rejected suggestions that he should remove Mr Hancock from his post.

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A Downing Street spokesman said that the Prime Minister had accepted Mr Hancock's apology and "considers the matter closed".

It is understood that Ms Coladangelo was hired by the DHSC as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March last year, before appointing her as a non-executive director at the department.

Mr Hancock, who is said to have met Ms Coladangelo at university, has been married to his wife Martha for 15 years and they have three children together.

Ms Coladangelo is the marketing and communications director at Oliver Bonas, a British retailer founded by her husband Oliver Tress.

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