A day after apologising for attending a party in the garden of Number 10 Downing Street during England's first lockdown in 2020, Boris Johnson’s deputy chief medical officer has resigned.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam became a cult hero during the Covid-19 pandemic for his use of colourful metaphors and footballing analogies throughout the Downing Street Covid-19 press conferences.
In a statement, England’s deputy chief medical officer said it had been a privilege to serve.
“My time as DCMO has been the most challenging of my professional career, especially the Covid response” he said.
“We all wish Covid had never happened. Notwithstanding, it has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to serve the people of the UK during this time.”
The Prime Minister tweeted his thanks to the 57-year-old for his “extraordinary contribution to our country and his invaluable advice throughout the pandemic" and wished him the very best.
Van-Tam who was knighted in the new years honours list, is to leave his post at the end of March for a new role at the University of Nottingham.
A government official said his resignation was not directly related to Johnson’s political developments.
Johnson apologised yesterday after admitting he attended a boozy shindig in the garden of Number 10 Downing Street when such gatherings were banned due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
In the House of Commons, he addressed lawmakers and acknowledged the public outrage over the incident, but insisted he thought it was within the rules and only stayed for around 25 minutes.
Labour leader Keir Starmer branded his account “ridiculous” and called on Johnson to resign.