ISLAMABAD: Pakistani-origin MP Sajid Javid was appointed as UK health secretary on Saturday night after Matt Hancock quit his role, having breached COVID-19 social distancing rules.
“The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care,” the No.10 Downing Street said in a statement on Saturday, confirming the appointment.
It follows a massive public outcry over controversial photographs where Hancock is seen kissing and embracing his top aide in the office, flouting all COVID-19-related protocols that he was tasked with ensuring.
“Those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them, and that’s why I’ve got to resign,” Hancock said in a video message on Twitter.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 26, 2021
Javid, 51, who has previously served two terms in the UK cabinet — first as the chancellor of the exchequer and later as the home secretary — is one of five sons to his parents who moved to the UK from Pakistan in the 1960s.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Javid said he was “honored” to be offered the position and looked forward to “contributing” to the country’s coronavirus response.
Honoured to have been asked to serve as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at this critical time.
I look forward to contributing to our fight against the pandemic, and serving my country from the Cabinet once again.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) June 26, 2021
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who is also of Pakistani origin, congratulated Javid on his new role.
“Always good to see the children of bus drivers do well! Congrats @sajidjavid on your appointment as Health Secretary,” Khan said in a Twitter post.
“Look forward to working together to protect our communities from this awful pandemic, get London vaccinated and continue opening up our city and country safely,” he added.
Always good to see the children of bus drivers do well! Congrats @sajidjavid on your appointment as Health Secretary.
Look forward to working together to protect our communites from this awful pandemic, get London vaccinated and continue opening up our city and country safely.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 26, 2021