The affair, seemingly supported by CCTV images showing Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo embracing in his office at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) HQ, has rocked the government.
This comes as the Conservative minister was supposedly called “f****** hopeless” by Boris Johnson according to former aide, Dominic Cummings.
In his appearance before a parliamentary committee, Mr Cummings criticised Mr Hancock’s handling of the UK’s vaccination programme during the coronavirus pandemic.
Key questions remain, however, as to Mr Hancock’s behaviour and standing after the latest allegations of an affair with a publicly-funded aide came to light this morning.
Who is Gina Coladangelo?
Gina Coladangelo is a communications director at lifestyle boutique Oliver Bonas and wife of the chain’s founder, Oliver Tress.
It is understood she become a friend of Matt Hancock after the two attended the University of Oxford together in the early 2000s, and was brought into the fold in a taxpayer-funded, paid role at the Department of Health and Social Care in September.
The decision at the time was one which many claimed was part and parcel of the alleged ‘chumocracy’ in UK Government operations.
Prior to this, Ms Coladangelo had been apparently working closely with Mr Hancock during the pandemic in an unpaid advisory capacity.
Ms Coladangelo was also previously a director and stakeholder at lobbying firm, Luther Pendragon.
Mr Hancock, meanwhile, has been married to Martha Hancock, grand-daughter of 1st Baron Inchyra, for 15 years and together they have three children.
Why does this alleged affair matter?
Unfortunately for the UK, affairs, gossip and sleaze have long held a place at the heart of British politics – making these latest accusations of an affair taking place at the highest levels of government nothing too out of the ordinary.
But with the images circulated by the tabloid press this morning showing Hancock seemingly embracing Ms Coladangelo in a public, taxpayer-funded office where Mr Hancock has routinely been seen appearing for interviews and media spots, scrutiny over the alleged affair has understandably increased.
It also presents further cause for concern as Ms Coladangelo is employed with the DHSC on a taxpayer-funded contract which was granted to her as Britain’s second wave began to accelerate in September 2020.
The CCTV images obtained as proof of the affair were also taken as Delta variant cases climbed across the UK and two metre social distancing rules remained in place.
Will Matt Hancock be fired?
The likelihood of Mr Hancock being dismissed from his post as UK Health Secretary remains to be seen, but many pundits are describing the revelations as a last straw for a minister whose future is already in doubt.
Government ministers like Transport Secretary Grant Shapps have already come to Mr Hancock’s aid, claiming that he was still adhering to government and covid regulations.
But opposition MPs and Scottish politicians are already calling for an investigation into the background of Ms Coladangelo’s appointment and Mr Hancock’s behaviour.