politics

Matt Hancock SCRAPS vaccination centre visit as he hides out amid affair scandal


MATT Hancock has scrapped a public appearance today as he bunkered down following The Sun’s bombshell revelations of a secret affair with his close adviser.

The Health Secretary – who is fighting for his political life – was supposed to attend a vaccination centre at Newmarket in his Suffolk constituency.

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Matt Hancock locked in a steamy clinch with his close aide

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Matt Hancock locked in a steamy clinch with his close aideCredit: The Sun
Bombshell photographs of the Cabinet Minister locked in a steamy clinch in his Whitehall office
Bombshell photographs of the Cabinet Minister locked in a steamy clinch in his Whitehall office
Mr Hancock leaves Downing Street with Ms Coladengelo behind him
Mr Hancock leaves Downing Street with Ms Coladengelo behind him

The trip would have been undoubtedly overshadowed by mounting questions of him snogging top adviser Gina Coladangelo.

Bombshell CCTV footage of the married Cabinet Minister locked in a steamy clinch has rocked the heart of Government this morning.

The cosy embrace in his Whitehall office on May 6 – before lockdown rules were relaxed to allow hugging – have fuelled furious claims of brazen hypocrisy and possible rule-breaking.

It also raises fresh concerns about Mr Hancock’s decision to hire old university pal Ms Coladangelo for a £15,000 taxpayer funded role.

Millionaire lobbyist Ms Coladengelo was brought in to the Department for Health as an unpaid adviser in March last year before, being appointed as a salaried non-executive director in September.

The images – taken as the pandemic raged and the mutant strain spread – have left Mr Hancock’s Cabinet career hanging by a thread with Labour demanding urgent answers.

It comes as:

Serious questions also remain about whether married Mr Hancock should have hired his millionaire lobbyist Ms Coladangelo for the £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 hired old university pal Gina Coladangelo as a non-executive director

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Mr Hancock hired old university pal Gina Coladangelo as a non-executive directorCredit: Rex
Mr Hancock's wife Martha Hoyer Millar leaves her house this morning

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Mr Hancock’s wife Martha Hoyer Millar leaves her house this morningCredit: Nigel Howard
Ms Coladangelo with her husband Oliver Tress

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Ms Coladangelo with her husband Oliver TressCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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.”

Grant Shapps says Matt Hancock’s affair with aide Gina Coladangelo is an ‘entirely personal issue’ but there is no ‘shortcutting’ on civil service appointments





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