Matt Hancock news – live: Health secretary accused of 'affair with … Fri, 25 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0100-Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock is at the centre of claims of an alleged affair with close aide Gina Coladangelo after pictures of the two …
Published: 7:50 AM June 25, 2021 Updated: 8:47 AM June 25, 2021
Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock is facing claims of an alleged affair with a close aide.
Pictures showing the married 42-year-old in a passionate clinch kissing Gina Coladangelo, 43, have been published today by The Sun newspaper.
The report claims the pictures were captured on a camera at his Whitehall office in May.
Mr Hancock has been married to wife Martha for 15 years, and they have three children.
Matt Hancock pictured with wife Martha in 2010. – Credit: Archant
No official statement has been issued by Mr Hancock, but a friend of the health secretary's reportedly told The Sun they had 'no comment' on the matter, but that 'no rules' had been breached.
In an interview this morning, Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said he would not be commenting on an “entirely personal” matter after the pictures were published.
Grant Shapps told Sky News that former lobbyist Gina Coladangelo – who the Health Secretary met at university – would have gone through an “incredibly rigorous” process to get the job.
Asked about the rules around appointing friends to Government positions, Mr Shapps said: “First of all, I think the actual issue is entirely personal for Matt Hancock.
“In terms of rules, anyone who has been appointed has to go through an incredibly rigorous process in Government, so whatever the rules are, the rules will have to be followed.
“There are no short cuts to that, as anyone who has had anything to do with the appointments system in the Civil Service knows.
“There are very strict rules in place.”
Matt Hancock with his wife Martha after his election in 2010 – Credit: Archant
Labour said the Government needs to answer whether the Health Secretary had broken any rules or there had been “conflicts of interest” in the appointment of his closest adviser.
An Opposition party spokesman 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.”
The news comes just days after it was alleged Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly called the West Suffolk MP “hopeless” during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. That claim was made by former government advisor Dominic Cummings.
Mr Cummings, who left Downing Street following a power struggle last year, had already taken a sideswipe at the Conservative cabinet minister, claiming Mr Hancock should have been fired for several things – including lying to the public and in meetings.
Mr Cummings has published a screenshot apparently showing a WhatsApp exchange between himself and Mr Johnson.
On March 3 last year, the controversial former aide highlighted the US’s ramping up of testing capacity and criticised Mr Hancock for saying he was “sceptical” about meeting a target.
Mr Johnson purportedly responded: “Totally ******* hopeless.”
Mr Hancock has denied the Brexit campaigner’s allegations and said it was “telling” that he was yet to provide the joint Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee with written evidence.
The Department of Health and his constituency office have been approached for comment.
Matt Hancock accused of affair with aide Gina Coladangelo Fri, 25 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0100-The Sun claimed that Mr Hancock was caught on camera kissing Gina Coladangelo, with the newspaper publishing security camera pictures reportedly taken on 6 …
Beyond the questions around the health secretary potentially having broken Covid rules, the alleged affair also raises concerns about the nature of his working relationship with Gina Coladangelo – the adviser he is accused of kissing.
Ms Coladangelo was given a role as non-executive director at the Department of Health and Social Care last year, leading to accusations of “chumocracy” as the pair were reportedly close friends at university.
Our reporter, Joe Middleton, has the full story below:
Gina Coladangelo met the health secretary when the two were at Oxford University
There’s an unfortunate post on Matt Hancock’s Instagram story this morning (shared yesterday before The Sun’s story was published), calling for “brilliant women” to get involved with the Conservative Party…
Grant Shapps’ claim that Matt Hancock followed social distancing rules does not appear to match with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown – which said that people should “continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble” until 17 May.
The Sun’s report alleges that the picture was taken on 6 May…
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has claimed that he is sure that Matt Hancock would have followed Covid rules after images were published allegedly showing him kissing a co-worker last month.
Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Shapps admitted that he had seen the photo but said he would try to avoid “commenting on other people's personal lives”.
When asked whether Mr Hancock was “ignoring social distancing”, the minister added: “I'm quite sure that whatever the rules were at the time were followed.
“You'll recall that there was a point at which social distancing rules were changed but, as I say, I don't want to comment on somebody else's private life – that is for them.”
One of the Sun’s reporters who broke the story is not convinced by that “entirely privately” line from the transport secretary…
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he will not comment on Matt Hancock’s alleged affair with one of his aides as he described the issue as an “entirely personal” matter.
Mr Shapps told Sky News that former lobbyist Gina Coladangelo – who the health secretary met at university – would have had to go through an “incredibly rigorous” process to get her job in the Department of Health and Social Care.
When asked about the rules around appointing friends to government positions, he added: “First of all, I think the actual issue is entirely personal for Matt Hancock.
“In terms of rules, anyone who has been appointed has to go through an incredibly rigorous process in government, so whatever the rules are, the rules will have to be followed.
“There are no short cuts to that, as anyone who has had anything to do with the appointments system in the Civil Service knows. There are very strict rules in place.”
Health secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of having an affair with a close friend and lobbyist who is a taxpayer-funded adviser for his department, a report has claimed.
The bombshell allegations in The Sun come after revelations by former No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings that Boris Johnson called the minister “hopeless” during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
You can find more details below:
Mr Hancock has been married for 15 years and has three children
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of UK politics today.
... read more
– June 25, 2021
Matt Hancock accused of affair with aide Gina Coladangelo
Gina Coladangelo, matt hancock affair