So that is the way it ends for Matt Hancock (for now).
After months of main the rustic throughout the pandemic and being stuck in his personal political crises alongside the way in which, the well being secretary was once introduced down no longer by means of his screw ups however by means of his non-public existence.
As quickly because the bombshell pictures of that embody have been splashed at the entrance web page of The Solar Mr Hancock was once combating a dropping combat.
No longer as a result of he was once stuck up in an extramarital affair – however as a result of he was once stuck out breaking his personal social distancing steerage, in all probability the legislation and hanging his lover at the public payroll.
He had attempted to hold on, refusing to fall on his sword after the photographs of him embracing Gina Coladangelo in his administrative center on the Division of Well being have been printed.
However ever since the scandal broke MPs, ministers and govt aides were whispering that the well being secretary could not hang on.
As one cupboard minister advised me, his “credibility had collapsed”.
“He did the fitting factor and resigned, in contrast to Dominic Cummings.”
However what helped save Mr Cummings again in Would possibly 2020, actually helped bury Mr Hancock.
Whilst the Quantity 10 group rallied MPs and ministers to publicly strengthen (or no less than no longer publicly criticise) the high minister’s leader aide when his task hung within the stability over his shuttle to Durham and Barnard Citadel, Mr Hancock discovered no such strengthen.
What he discovered was once no longer simply silence, however the rising disquiet among colleagues changing into extra vocal because the scandal ran.
Whether or not he sought after to hand over or no longer, after all Mr Hancock had little possibility. His place had turn into untenable.
For the high minister’s section, one one who is aware of him smartly advised me Boris Johnson would were loathed to sack Mr Hancock.
He’s “nonetheless sore” from being sacked from Michael Howard’s frontbench in 2004 for mendacity over his personal affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.
And he’s identified for digging in over scandals round his most sensible group – be it Mr Cummings over Durham, or Priti Patel over bullying accusations.
However whilst he mentioned he was once sorry to obtain Mr Hancock’s resignation, he will have to too be relieved.
This scandal was once simplest going to construct, with questions surrounding the appointment of Ms Coladangelo to the well being division’s board, and whether or not Mr Hancock broke the rules he himself wrote no longer going away.
Believe Mr Johnson at certainly one of his common press meetings having to protect Mr Hancock publicly whilst the general public seemed on. It is political capital he’d reasonably no longer burn.
However there may be grievance too that he didn’t display management and take away Mr Hancock versus looking forward to the well being secretary to throw within the towel.
Keir Starmer, the Labour chief, tweeted on Saturday evening: “Boris must have sacked him.”
This is a view shared by means of a few of his personal MPs, who have been quietly livid at Mr Hancock’s habits and the broader fallout and demanded Quantity 10 did one thing about it. Mr Johnson this weekend a bit of tarnished by means of somebody else’s sleaze.
And he additionally loses the scapegoat for the general public inquiry into his dealing with of the pandemic which starts subsequent 12 months.
MPs brazenly discuss how Mr Hancock could be saved on as well being secretary till then – in spite of the leaked textual content messages from the PM describing him as “f***ing unnecessary” – so Mr Johnson would have somebody to sack over his govt’s dealing with of the COVID pandemic.
Mr Hancock beat him to it.