After the former Matt Hancock was forced to resign for kissing his assistant, Sajid Javid, the Minister of Islam, made a joke.
Mr. Javid addressed a virtual meeting of the Local Government Association in Mr. Hancock’s old office in Westminster on Thursday afternoon.
At the beginning, he asked members of Parliament who had dialed in from all over the UK: “I hope my camera is turned on. Is my camera turned on?
“I mean, the one on my laptop, not the one on the ceiling.”
Mr. Hancock’s hug with Gina Coladangelo was captured on leaked CCTV and eventually cost him his government job after he admitted that they violated social distancing rules.
In Whitehall, the camera in the minister’s office has attracted people’s attention. Mr. Javid had previously stated that the camera had been turned off when he took over.
The former Secretary of the Interior and Minister of Finance, Mr. Javid, sitting in front of Mr. Hancock’s portrait of the Queen of Damien Hirst, said that the tray he inherited was the largest of the five departments he had previously led.
He told LGA: “The past 18 months have been the most difficult period in our country’s history.
“I will frankly admit that I find it not easy to watch from the sidelines.”
Mr. Javid defended the government’s plan to end most of the restrictions in England on July 19, warning that the delay may increase the pressure on the NHS during the winter.
He said he was happy that Boris Johnson “let him come back from vacation” to continue to serve the public.
Mr. Javid said that the new health and care bill will bring real changes to social care and put it on the “sustainable foundation of the future”.
“We need a new approach,” he said. “I want to assure you that I will continue to speak for you.
“We all want to see high-quality personal care. We all want to see fairer payment methods. We all want people to choose housing that suits them.”
“We also hope that the work of caregivers will be better recognized.
“I am also determined to treat social care with the same integration and innovation that we have seen throughout the pandemic.”
He added his workload in reforming health, restoring the care system and ending the Covid-19 crisis: “This is a big tray, the largest one I have seen in any department I have ever led. I have led five departments .
“My top priority is to help us escape this pandemic safely. But I noticed that I am more than just Covid’s secretary.
“I will focus on everything under the sun to improve the health of our country.
“I am fully confident that we can rise together and meet these challenges.”