UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of having an affair with a Government aide and lobbyist he hired last year.
The Sun Newspaper has published pictures of Mr Hancock, a married father of three, in an intimate embrace with Gina Coladangelo, who he appointed as an unpaid advisor six months ago.
The pair were captured on CCTV inside Mr Hancock’s Office in May — and pictures of the encounter have now been leaked to the newspaper.
Mother-of-three Ms Coladangelo is communications director at Oliver Bonas, the fashion and lifestyle store founded by her husband Oliver Tress.
She is also a director and major shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which offers clients a “deep understanding of the mechanics of government”.
Insiders told The Sun of their shock at Hancock’s affair during the middle of the pandemic.
Mr Hancock at the House of Commons
Mr Hancock was pictured embracing his aide just after 3pm on May 6 — as the rest of Westminster was engrossed by the local elections.
The UK Health Secretary secretly appointed her to his department as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March last year.
It sparked claims of a “‘chumocracy” when it became public knowledge in November.
It also emerged she had accompanied Mr Hancock to confidential meetings with civil servants and visited No10. Sources said at the time: “Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina. She knows everything.”
Last September, Mr Hancock appointed Gina as a non- executive director at DHSC, making her a powerful member of the department’s oversight board.
It hit the headlines as there was no public record of the appointment, which was set to see her earn at least £15,000 of taxpayers’ money, potentially rising by a further £5,000.
The role makes her responsible for “overseeing and monitoring performance” — in effect, scrutinising matters of concern to Mr Hancock.
A DHSC spokesman said the appointment was “made in the usual way and followed correct procedure”.
It is also understood that since April, she has had a parliamentary pass, giving her unregulated access to the Palace of Westminster.
Last night, a friend of the Health Secretary said: “He has no comment on personal matters. No rules have been broken.”