Gina Coladangelo was way out of Matt Hancock’s league in their days at Oxford, says a fellow student.
Maxie Allen, who worked alongside the pair at the university radio station, recalls men desperate to date glamorous Gina – while Hancock cut “an obscure figure”.
Maxie, 46, said of Gina: “She struck me as someone who would get what they want.
“He’s done well. This wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t the Health Secretary and she wasn’t lobbying, that is blatantly obvious to anyone who knew them back then.
“Gina was very glamorous, very nice and very good looking – all the young men held a candle for her. She was suave, composed and elegant. Most men would have given their right arm to go out with her.”
Hancock, meanwhile, was regarded as “low profile”, Maxie said.
He added: “Hancock did the odd sports report but he wasn’t well known. He was not the sort of person where he’d come into a room and everyone went, ‘Oh, Matt Hancock’s here’.
“He had a very slight presence, not someone you would mark out as destined for greatness.
“Whereas Gina was very well-known and high-profile and memorable. You never saw them talking to each other.”
Maxie was the programme controller for Oxford University’s Oxygen FM in the late 1990s, when Hancock covered sport and Gina read the news.
Maxie recalls Gina’s 21st birthday party at her parents’ home in Royston, Herts. “It was a glamorous affair,” he said. “They had a few bob.
“Gina is not the sort of person to get drunk and make a scene. She was very composed and elegant.”