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UPDATE 1-UK PM Johnson stands by Hancock after kissing picture

·1 min read

(Changes headline)

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted an apology from Health Minister Matt Hancock and has full confidence in him, Johnson's spokesman said on Friday after picture of Hancock kissing an aide were published.

Hancock said he was "very sorry" after pictures of him kissing and embracing his top aide, a friend hired last year, were splashed on the front page of the Sun newspaper.

"The prime minister has accepted the health secretary's apology and considers the matter closed," the spokesman said. Asked if Johnson had full confidence in Hancock, the spokesman said "Yes".

The spokesman refused to answer questions about how the footage had been obtained, or whether it was right for Hancock to remain in post having admitted to breaking COVID-19 guidelines. (Reporting by William James; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)