politics

Matt Hancock 'likely to set up home' with aide he was pictured kissing


Shamed Health Secretary Matt Hancock is likely to “set up home” with the aide he was pictured kissing, it is claimed.

The Tory finally quit on Saturday after he was filmed snogging Gina Coladangelo at the Department of Health’s London HQ last month.

Mr Hancock admitted he had to resign after ignoring social distancing rules during the passionate embrace, which is said to have happened on May 6.

It has been reported that he ended his marriage with wife Martha after discovering that The Sun planned to publish a story about his unfaithfulness.

Sources close to the former Health Secretary, who was succeeded by Sajid Javid, claim that he and Ms Coladangelo are “in love”, despite their affair beginning last month.



Matt Hancock and Ms Coladangelo were pictured snogging at the Department of Health HQ
Matt Hancock and Ms Coladangelo were pictured snogging at the Department of Health HQ

A pal told the Sunday Times the relationship was “serious” and said: “It is a love match. They’re setting up home.”

Ms Coladangelo, who was employed as a non-executive director at the Department of Health last year, has known Mr Hancock since they studied at Oxford University together.

She was reportedly seen leaving the London home she shared with her husband, Oliver Bonas founder Oliver Tress, last Thursday, shortly before the story broke.

A friend of Martha Hancock told the Sun on Sunday : “The poor woman has been publicly humiliated by her husband’s behaviour yet she has faced the cameras looking a model of composure.



Matt Hancock with his wife Martha, who he reportedly left last week
Matt Hancock with his wife Martha, who he reportedly left last week

“She has every reasons to feel aggrieved by what’s happened but she has risen above it all.

“She’s emerging from this as a woman of real class.”

Boris Johnson was today accused of “trying to rewrite history” after claiming credit for Mr Hancock’s resignation.

Labour accused the PM of “trying to rewrite history because he didn’t have the guts to sack Matt Hancock” after Downing Street repeatedly insisted on Friday that Mr Johnson “considers the matter closed” and had accepted Mr Hancock’s apology.



Ms Coladangelo with husband Oliver Tress, who founded retail giant Oliver Bonas
Ms Coladangelo with husband Oliver Tress, who founded retail giant Oliver Bonas

And the PM’s spokesman today denied that Mr Johnson had asked Mr Hancock to quit.

Asked whether Mr Hancock’s actions undermined the message about being “all in it together”, the PM made a complete u-turn, saying: “That’s right, and that’s why when I saw the story on Friday we had a new Secretary of State for Health in on Saturday.”

He said the move was “about the right pace to proceed in a pandemic”.

Mr Johnson’s comments stoked further confusion about the circumstances of Mr Hancock’s departure, who was said to have offered his resignation rather than being sacked.

Labour today demanded answers after it emerged, in the wake of his resignation, that Mr Hancock was likely to have been behind the appointment of Ms Coladangelo to the £15,000-a-year role.

Mr Hancock stood down on Saturday after leaked footage showed him in an intimate embrace with Mrs Coladangelo on May 6, when such contact between households was advised against.

There were also questions about how his long-term friend was brought into the DHSC first as an unpaid adviser, before getting the director role in September.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “As far as I’m aware, I believe ministers are entitled to make direct appointments and I believe that was the case in this instance.

“Her appointment followed correct procedure.”

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister Fleur Anderson said the “matter is far from closed” despite Mr Hancock’s resignation.

“The Government must publish all documents relating to the appointment of Gina Coladangelo,” she said.

“The role of a non-executive director is to challenge and scrutinise the minister. We need to know if the nature of their relationship was declared and whether the recruitment process was carried out in a fair and transparent way.”





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