MATT Hancock is due to make a public appearance this morning amid mounting questions over his explosive affair with a close adviser.
The Health Secretary is supposed to be visiting a vaccination centre at Newmarket Racecourse in his Suffolk constituency at around 10am.
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Downing Street was standing by Mr Hancock this morning despite a seismic backlash over the explosive revelations.
Labour has demanded urgent answers following The Sun’s dramatic revelations of the Health Secretary’s relationship with Gina Coladangelo.
It comes as:
Bombshell photographs of the Cabinet Minister locked in a steamy clinch in his Whitehall office – before lockdown rules were relaxed to allow hugging – have fuelled claims of hypocrisy and left his career hanging by a thread.
Serious questions also remain about whether married Mr Hancock should have hired his millionaire lobbyist Ms Coladangelo for a £15,000-a-year job.
But as of this morning Boris Johnson was sticking with his Health Secretary, with the Government line insisting it was a “private matter”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he “absolutely” had confidence in his Cabinet colleague.
He told Times Radio: “We don’t live in a world where the responsibilities of public work and what somebody has done in their private life are one and the same thing.
“We’re living in the 21st century and how people live their private lives is a private business.”
Mr Hancock has three children with his wife of 15 years Martha Hoyer Millar.
But critics honed in on questions relating to the hiring of Ms Coladangelo, who Mr Hancock made a paid non-executive director at the Department for Health in September.
A Labour spokesperson said: “Ministers, like everyone, are entitled to a private life.
“However, when taxpayers’ money is involved or jobs are being offered to close friends who are in a personal relationship with a minister, then that needs to be looked into.
“The Government needs to be open and transparent about whether there are any conflicts of interests or rules that have been broken.”
A Department for Health spokesperson said the appointment was “made in the usual way and followed correct procedure”.
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said: “The reason Matt Hancock should resign is that he is a terrible Health Secretary, not because of his private life.
“From the PPE scandal, the crisis in our care service and the unbelievably poor test and trace system, he has utterly failed.”
SNP MP Pete Wishart agreed: “For Hancock to go down for having an affair would be akin to Al Capone going down for tax evasion.”