Matt Hancock’s CCTV snog with Gina Coladangelo against his office door came 24 hours after a storm where he was accused of sexism in the Commons and at a time when he still lectured Britons about sticking to social distancing rules.
The Health Secretary kept a low profile around the time he was passionately kissing Gina Coladangelo, 43, on the afternoon of May 6 when no other aides were around, MailOnline can reveal.
But despite breaching social distancing guidance with the office romance, he went on TV days later to warn the country to stick to the rules to slow the spread of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.
He gave the warning during an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, where his lover was supporting him at Broadcasting House as an advisor funded by the taxpayer. They were photographed together leaving the interview clutching cups of coffee.
Mr Hancock only appeared in public four times in the fortnight where he and married Mrs Coladangelo were caught on CCTV in a passionate embrace.
April 30: Goes for a pint in his last public appearance before the kiss
His last public appearance before the May 6 clinch was on April 30, while on the local election trail for the Tories.
He went for a pint in a pub garden in Middlesbrough, as he campaigned inside the ‘Red Wall’.
May 5: Criticised for telling a female Labour MP to ‘watch her tone’
The day before the clinch the Health Secretary was castigated for telling a female Labour MP to ‘watch her tone’ after she grilled him on the government’s coronavirus testing strategy in the House of Commons.
April 30: Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health, drinks a pint as he visits the Rudds Arms pub for a photocall after campaigning in Middlesbrough
May 5: The Health Secretary (right) disagreed when Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (left) and was accused of sexism in the exchange on the day before the kiss with Gina Coladangelo
May 6: Mr Hancock’s kiss with Ms Coladangelo is alleged to have taken place in the corridor outside his office at the Department for Health’s headquarters in central London
May 16: Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo (left) outside BBC Broadcasting House in London around ten days after they had an afternoon kiss in the office
June 6: Gina Coladangelo leaves the BBC with Mr Hancock following The Andrew Marr Show
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, a former Labour deputy leader candidate who also works as an A&E doctor in the fight against the pandemic, said the government’s policy had ‘cost lives’ and called on Hancock to commit to a minimum of 100,000 tests per day going forward.
In response, an indignant Health Secretary told the Labour MP that she should ‘take a leaf out of the shadow secretary of state’s book in terms of tone’.
Dr Allin-Khan, who attends shadow cabinet meetings, shared the exchange on social media and later tweeted she would not ‘watch her tone’ when challenging the government. The Health Secretary’s comment sparked uproar among MPs, with former acting Labour Party leader Harriet Harman branding it ‘creepy’.
May 11: Issues warning over Indian variant
After the kiss he popped up on May 11 to warn the Indian Covid variant that bypasses vaccines would pose the ‘biggest risk’ to lockdown-ending plans in June.
The Health Secretary said the only thing that would prevent England from scrapping more restrictions on June 21 would be the emergence of a mutant strain that makes vaccinated people severely ill.
Mr Hancock suggested the mutant strain should not threaten lockdown-easing hopes because it did not seem to pose significant problems to vaccinated people.
He told BBC Breakfast: ‘There is no doubt that a new variant is the biggest risk. We have this variant that was first seen in India – the so-called Indian variant – we have seen that grow. We are putting a lot of resources into tackling it to make sure everybody who gets that particular variant gets extra support and intervention to make sure that it isn’t passed on.
May 16: Mr Hancock is photographed with Gina Coladange outside the BBC
And then his next appearance in public was ten days after the kiss, on May 16, and was seen with his alleged lover at the BBC.
A solemn Martha Hancock walks the couple’s dog near their north London home today as her husband admitted he had ‘let people down’
Mrs Coladangelo (pictured here with husband Oliver Tress – the founder of the Oliver Bonas clothing chain), who is a director and shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon
Matt Hancock’s glamorous mother-of-three ‘lover’ Gina Coladangelo, 43, is married to the millionaire behind Oliver Bonas and boasts a string of celebrity friends
Gina Coladangelo works for the company her husband Oliver Tress (pictured together several years ago) founded – while also being Mr Hancock’s closest aide
The woman Matt Hancock has been allegedly having an affair with is a millionaire communications director of fashion firm Oliver Bonas, which was the brainchild of her husband.
Gina Coladangelo works for the company her spouse Oliver Tress founded – while also being Mr Hancock’s closest aide. The mother of three, 43, is a major shareholder – as well as director – of the lobbying firm Luther Pendragon.
Gina Coladangelo leaves the BBC with Mr Hancock on June 6
Mrs Coladangelo, who lives with her husband and their three children in South West London, appointment to the Department of Health in March 2020 by Mr Hancock sparked uproar due to her outside interests.
Mr Hancock and Mrs Coladangelo, who it was revealed last night have allegedly been having an affair, first met at Oxford University while working on student radio together.
She studied politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at Oxford between 1995 and 1998, the same as Mr Hancock.
Despite them knowing each other and apparently maintaining their friendship, Mr Hancock married Martha Millar in 2006, with whom he now has three children.
Mrs Coladangelo has been spotted leaving Downing Street with the Health Secretary on a number of occasions. A source told the Sunday Times last year: ‘Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina. She knows everything.’
But her new role was not made public despite her getting access to £15,000 from the taxpayer.
She was an unpaid adviser for Mr Hancock but claims of ‘chumocracy’ emerged in November when it was revealed she was attending confidential meetings.
Mrs Coladangelo was made a non-executive director at the Department for Health in September. She shows off the role on her LinkedIn page and has to ‘oversee and monitor performance’.
Away from work, Mrs Coladangelo has three children. In 2012 she told the Daily Mail how she had returned to work while being a mother.
She paid for a live-in nanny at their home in south-west London and worked flexible hours.
Mrs Coladangelo said: ‘I don’t worry about my children being closer to their nanny, because I spend as much time as I can with them.
‘I would never dream of telling other mothers what to do with their lives. Every woman has to make her own choice.
‘But I feel very fortunate in my education and believe those years shouldn’t be wasted. I want to work to give something back.’
Her husband Oliver gave an interview to the Financial Times in November 2015 and spoke about their house. He said: ‘Our indulgence was moving to a bigger home in Wandsworth in September. We barely had a garden in Clapham, but the new house has a bigger garden and more space downstairs.
‘We might be able to build an extension. The mortgage will still be pretty considerable, as retail businesses are not necessarily throwing up a lot of cash. I am not a tycoon.’
Mr Hancock and Gina Coladange looked serious as they left Broadcasting House together. The Health Secretary had just appeared on the Andrew Marr show where he discussed the loosening of lockdown rules the following day.
He also warned British holidaymakers planning a desperate bolt for the sun to avoid countries on the UK’s amber list even though they can visit them.
The Health Secretary said that although nations like Spain, Italy, France and Greece can be visited if people are willing to quarantine at home afterwards, they should not unless it is ‘absolutely necessary’.
Mr Hancock said: ‘We have a green list where it’s okay to go and that’s why we’ve brought the green list in. But what I would say is that people should not travel to amber or red list countries unless it’s absolutely necessary. And certainly not for holiday purposes.’
Boris Johnson today refused to sack his Health Secretary having accepted an apology that neglected to mention the wife he cheated on.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson now ‘considered the matter closed’ and refused to answer questions on whether Mr Hancock broke the law or ministerial code as the Health Secretary admitted he had ‘let people down’ and said sorry for flouting social distancing rules.
Married Mr Hancock, 42, failed to deny claims of a secret long-term affair after extraordinary images revealed his passionate clinch with millionaire lobbyist Gina Coladangelo, 43, where he was filmed rubbing her back and bottom during their workplace embrace.
In an extraordinary statement he did not mention his wife of 15 years Martha, the mother of his three children, who was pictured looking heartbroken while walking the family dog near their north London home today, only saying he had ‘let people down’ and wanted ‘privacy for my family on this personal matter’.
As Mr Hancock fights for his political life, Labour and the Liberal Democrats branded him a ‘hypocrite’ who should be fired for kissing a lover and ignoring his own ‘hands, face and space’ mantra while telling the UK not to hug their loved-ones and not to have casual sex and stick to ‘established relationships’ to stop coronavirus spreading.
But despite the sleaze scandal Mr Hancock still hopes to survive and said: ‘I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry. I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter’.
And backing him Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters: ‘You have seen the Health Secretary’s statement and so I would point you to that, I don’t really have anything further to add. He accepts that he has broken the social distancing guidelines. The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary’s apology and considers the matter closed.’ He added ‘all the correct procedures were followed’ in hiring Gina Coladangelo, who is paid £15,000 for around 15 days work per year.
As Downing Street made its first comments it confirmed suspicions that Boris Johnson would not sack his Health Secretary given his own chequered love life, especially after his own alleged four-year affair with American pole-dancing businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, who he employed as an advisor while Mayor of London.
Mr Hancock’s kiss with Ms Coladangelo, a mother-of-three whose husband Oliver Tress is the founder of clothing shop Oliver Bonas, is alleged to have taken place in the corridor outside his office at the Department for Health’s headquarters in central London at around 3pm on May 6 this year – the day of the UK local elections and a week after his first coronavirus jab.
Mr Hancock is said to have checked the corridor is clear before closing the door, leaning on it to stop it opening before launching into their passionate embrace. The Sun claims they have been having an affair that has been the talk of the department – but it is not known if they remain in a relationship that was a secret until today.
He married Martha, 44, in 2006 and the couple have three children together. Mrs Hancock looked sad and upset as she left the couple’s home but didn’t speak to reporters about her husband’s alleged infidelity. Her husband was nowhere to be seen, however, she was still wearing her wedding ring.
The shutters were closed at the £4.5million South London home Mrs Coladangelo shares with Oliver Tress and their three children today. They are also believed to have a country home near the West Sussex coast. She has been working as an advisor for Mr Hancock since last year, with one source saying: ‘Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina’.
But they first met at Oxford University 25 years ago at their college’s radio station and Mrs Coladangelo is friends with Matt Hancock’s wife on Facebook and they have spent time together socially.
The Health Secretary, 42, has been seen having a passionate clinch with millionaire lobbyist Gina Coladangelo (pictured here with Matt Hancock outside Downing Street in May), according to The Sun
Martha Hancock looked sad and upset as she left the couple’s north London home this morning after claims that her husband has been having a secret affair. She didn’t comment
Mr Hancock has been married for 15 years to wife Martha, with whom he has three children
Matt Hancock smiles and laughs at his alleged lover as they leave the BBC after appearing on the Marr show in June
Downing Street said the Prime Minister has accepted Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s apology for breaching social distancing guidelines and ‘considers the matter closed’.
‘You’ve seen the Health Secretary’s statement, so I would point you to that,’ a spokesman for the Prime Minister said after being asked by reporters why Mr Hancock remained in post.
‘I don’t really have anything further to add.
‘The Health Secretary set out that he accepted he had breached the social distancing guidelines and he has apologised for that.
‘The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary’s apology and considers the matter closed.’
Asked whether Boris Johnson had ‘full confidence’ in Mr Hancock, the spokesman replied: ‘Yes.’
Downing Street repeatedly refused to comment on whether Health Secretary Matt Hancock had broken the law after he was pictured kissing a close aide in his Whitehall department.
A Downing Street spokesman told a Westminster briefing: ‘I would point you to his statement. He says ‘I accept I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances’.
‘He sets out that he apologises for that and as I say, the Prime Minister has accepted that apology.’
Responding to the PM’s spox claiming the Matt Hancock affair is ‘closed’, a Labour Party spokeswoman said: ‘This matter is definitely not closed, despite the Government’s attempts to cover it up.
‘Matt Hancock appears to have been caught breaking the laws he created while having a secret relationship with an aide he appointed to a taxpayer-funded job. The Prime Minister recently described him as ‘useless’ – the fact that even now he still can’t sack him shows how spineless he is’.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has declined to comment on Matt Hancock’s actions.
Asked outside the Department of Health, in central London, on Friday afternoon if he had anything to say about the Health Secretary’s apology, Prof Whitty replied: ‘Nothing.’
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said there are ‘legitimate public interest questions to be answered’ after images were published appearing to show Health Secretary Matt Hancock in an embrace with his aide.
When asked about the matter during a press conference, Mr Drakeford said: ‘I think there is a legitimate distinction to be drawn between what people do in their private lives and what they do in their public lives.
‘I’m not trying to make points about what people do as entirely private matters, but in the case of Mr Hancock it does seem to me that there are some issues that are of genuine public interest.
‘I do think there are questions that need to be answered about whether those rules were broken, the social distancing rules.
‘Mr Hancock himself was very quick to condemn a senior academic from Imperial College when he was found breaching those rules, so I think there are questions, legitimate public interest questions, to answer there.
‘I think there are legitimate public interest questions to be answered about how individuals are appointed if they turn out to be in a different sort of relationship with the minister who was responsible for their appointment.
‘Certainly here in Wales, I always expect the whole of our ministerial team to observe the rules that we expect other people to observe.
‘You can’t make laws for other people and then not be willing to abide by them yourself.’
Mr Hancock was meant to be at Newmarket Racecourse to visit the vaccination centre but a spokesman revealed he cancelled at the last minute ‘early this morning’.
A Department of Health probe into how the footage from outside Mr Hancock’s office was leaked is expected, with the whistleblower described as a former civil servant who was angry about his ‘brazen’ affair, adding: ‘They have tried to keep it a secret but everyone knows what goes on inside a building like that’.
The kiss was also 11 days before the Government relaxed safety rules including giving permission for the public to hug at a time where Mr Hancock told people: ‘Always stay two metres away from people you don’t live with’ and using the mantra: ‘Hands, face and space’.
Labour Party chair, Anneliese Dodds, commenting on revelations about Matt Hancock, said: ‘If Matt Hancock has been secretly having a relationship with an adviser in his office – who he personally appointed to a taxpayer-funded role – it is a blatant abuse of power and a clear conflict of interest.
‘The charge sheet against Matt Hancock includes wasting taxpayers’ money, leaving care homes exposed and now being accused of breaking his own Covid rules.
‘His position is hopelessly untenable. Boris Johnson should sack him.’