Boris Johnson refuses to sack Matt Hancock and has accepted an apology that neglected to mention his wife after he was caught on CCTV passionately kissing his most senior aide in the corridor outside his Whitehall office.
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 apologised 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.
This is the image that has left Matt Hancock fighting for his job today that appears to show him kissing his millionaire aide – who is on the public payroll – in the corridor outside his office in May this year
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 3 pm 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.