HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has been having a secret affair with his closest aide, The Sun can reveal today.
He cheated on his wife with Gina Coladangelo, 43, who he hired last year with taxpayers’ money, as Covid gripped Britain.
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Mr Hancock, 42, and millionaire lobbyist Gina were caught on camera in a steamy clinch at his Whitehall office.
Whistleblowers revealed the Health Secretary had been spotted cheating on his wife of 15 years with married Ms Coladangelo.
He was seen kissing her at the Department of Health’s London HQ during office hours last month as the mutant strain began spreading.
A Whitehall whistleblower told The Sun it was “shocking that Mr Hancock was having an affair in the middle of a pandemic with an adviser and friend he used public money to hire”.
Last night, a friend of the Health Secretary said: “He has no comment on personal matters. No rules have been broken.”
Mr Hancock was pictured embracing his aide. The image was from just after 3pm on May 6 — as the rest of Westminster was engrossed by the local elections.
He is seen in his distinctive ninth-floor office inside the sprawling Department of Health building, which is a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament.
During the pandemic, the office has provided the backdrop to his Zoom appearances on TV — including the Andrew Marr Show.
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.
According to a whistleblower, who used to work at the department, the pair have regularly been caught in clinches together.
The source said: “They have tried to keep it a secret but everyone knows what goes on inside a building like that.
“I’m just amazed he was so brazen about it as he was the Secretary of State.
"It has also shocked people because he put her in such an important, publicly-funded role and this is what they get up to in office hours when everyone else is working hard.”
The office where the tryst happened is where Mr Hancock famously hangs his Damien Hirst portrait of the Queen.
The affair will inevitably raise questions about his focus on the UK’s virus battle after he was accused of “lies” over his handling of the pandemic.
He stands accused of failing care home patients with botched testing, wasting billions on a bungled Test and Trace rollout and squandering millions on PPE contracts which failed to deliver.
It's shocking he was having an affair with an aide he used public money to hire.
And it is not the first time he has been accused of misusing public funds as the virus crisis raged.
His former neighbour was awarded a lucrative contract worth millions to help make Covid tests, despite having no previous experience in the field.
Alex Bourne, who ran Mr Hancock’s local in Suffolk, WhatsApped the Health Secretary to offer his services, sparking sleaze allegations from opposition MPs.
Former No10 adviser Dominic Cummings also launched an astonishing tirade against Mr Hancock’s handling of the crisis.
Mr Cummings, 49, suggested the health supremo should have been sacked for dozens of failures and had lied to the Prime Minister on multiple occasions.
Mr Hancock has repeatedly challenged Mr Cummings to present evidence for his claims and appeared to have toughed out the row.
Boris Johnson had thrown a supportive arm around his embattled cabinet colleague, but faces a tough decision in light of The Sun’s bombshell revelations.
Word of the affair has been circulating within the department with colleagues openly discussing the situation on WhatsApp.
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”.
Mr Hancock 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.”
I’m just amazed he was so brazen about it as he was the Secretary of State.
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.
It bears her husband’s surname, which she does not use professionally, and is sponsored by Lord Bethell, the hereditary peer, health minister and former lobbyist.
She was working previously for Luther Pendragon.
The firm boasts clients who have secured lucrative contracts during the pandemic, including British Airways and Accenture, which received £2.5million to help build the NHS Covid-19 app.
The pair first met at Oxford University in the early 2000s but Mr Hancock went on to wed Martha Hoyer Millar in 2006.
The Hancocks remain married and have three children.
Mr Hancock is not the first senior figure to be embroiled in a pandemic sex scandal.
Professor Neil Ferguson had to quit his government advisory role after meeting his married lover during the first lockdown.
The boffin, 51, broke social distancing rules when he allowed Antonia Staats, 38, to visit him at his home at least twice.
Prof Ferguson led the team at Imperial College London which honed Britain’s Covid-19 battle plan while claiming 500,000 Brits would die unless it was enforced.
Other high-profile individuals caught out for breaking Covid rules included Dominic Cummings.
He travelled 260 miles from London to a family cottage in Durham while suffering Covid symptoms at the height of the pandemic in March 2020.
His rule-breaking was exposed in May 2020, sparking national fury despite him saying he had acted “reasonably and legally”.
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