Who is Gina Coladangelo? Health secretary Matt Hancock faces pressure to quit after kiss with 'close aide'

The Health Secretary is under pressure to quit his role over allegations of an affair with aide Gina Coladangelo

Matt Hancock leaves Downing Street in May, with Gina Coladangelo in the green coat (Photo: Getty Images)
Matt Hancock leaves Downing Street in May, with Gina Coladangelo in the green coat (Photo: Getty Images)

Matt Hancock is facing increasing pressure to step down from his Government role after pictures of him emerged kissing a close aide.

The Health Secretary has been accused of cheating on his wife with Gina Coladangelo, a close friend and lobbyist who is an adviser to his department.

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The Sun published photographs and a video of him in what it called a “steamy clinch” with Ms Coladangelo.

The newspaper reported: “Mr. Hancock is seen checking the corridor is clear before closing the door and then leaning on it to ensure he cannot be disturbed.

“Ms Coladangelo then walks towards him and the pair begin their passionate embrace.”

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At-a-glance: 5 key points

- The Sun published what it said were security camera pictures taken on 6 May of the kiss, but the pair have been seen together on other occasions, it claimed.

- The newspaper reports that the image was from just after 3pm on 6 May - as the local elections were taking place.

- Mr Hancock, 42, has been married for 15 years to wife Martha, and the pair have three children. Ms Coladangelo, 43, is also married with three children.

- Gina Colangelo became a non-executive director at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) last year.

- Matt Hancock was already under pressure following explosive criticism from Dominic Cummings last month.

Who is Gina Colangelo?

Ms Coladangelo was a director at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which promises clients help to “navigate and influence complex legislation”.

Last year it emerged she was handed a role as non-executive director at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), earning at least £15,000 a year and having scrutiny over its running.

There was no public record of the appointment.

Her husband is the founder of the fashion and homeware shop Oliver Bonas, where she is also communications director.

What’s been said

The Health Secretary has said he was “very sorry” for letting people down, after The Sun first reported he was having an extramarital affair with his close aide.

In a statement issued on Friday (25 June), Mr Hancock apologised for his actions, saying: “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.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far resisted calls to sack Mr Hancock over the breach, with a Downing Street spokesman saying he had accepted his apology and “considers the matter closed”.

Background

Mr Hancock came in for criticism when his appointment of Ms Coladangelo was revealed by the Sunday Times around eight months after she joined the government.

She was taken on first as an unpaid adviser, then later as a non-executive director earning at least £15,000.

The pair were reported to have met at Oxford University and remained close friends.

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