Who is Gina Coladangelo? Personal aide of Matt Hancock embroiled in cheating scandal
Queen discusses Matt Hancock with Boris Johnson
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The images, according to the Sun, taken on May 6, appear to show Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo locked in an embrace and kissing one another. Things have gone from bad to worse for the Health Secretary, with the allegations coming just days after he was branded “f***ing useless” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a WhatsApp exchange with Dominic Cummings.
READ MORE: Matt Hancock exit: Could Health Secretary be fired?
Who is Gina Coladangelo?
Ms Coladangelo is communications director at Oliver Bonas, a lifestyle and fashion store founded by her husband, Oliver Tress.
She and her husband reportedly have three children together.
According to her LinkedIn page she is charged with “overseeing and monitoring performance.”
She says: “I have over twenty years’ experience in business management and marketing and communications, with a focus on retail, healthcare, the third sector and energy.
“Marketing expertise across media relations, consumer campaigns, social media, digital strategy, strategic collaborations, internal communications, issues management and public affairs.”
As well as this, Ms Colagangelo is a director and major shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which offers clients a “deep understanding of the mechanics of government”.
She was appointed to the Department of Health as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March last year.
In September, Ms Coladangelo was appointed as a non-executive director at the Department for Health – this means she a member of the board whose job is to scrutinise the department.
The role comes with a £15,000 salary and involves 15-to-20 days of work per year.
The pair were first linked in the public eye, albeit not romantically, in November 2021, when it emerged she had accompanied Hancock to confidential meetings with civil servants and had even visited Number 10.
She has been spotted with the Health Secretary on numerous occasions, and a source told the Sunday Times last year: “Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina. She knows everything.”
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But the pair have been friends for much longer than their time together at the Department for Health.
They first met while studying at Oxford University together – where the Health Secretary also met his wife, Martha.
Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo studied the same degree together – politics, philosophy and economics.
A source told the Sun: “They have tried to keep it a secret but everyone knows what goes on inside a building like that.”
They added: “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.”
Asked about the rules around appointing friends to Government positions, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News: “First of all, I think the actual issue is entirely personal for Matt Hancock.
“In terms of rules, anyone who has been appointed has to go through an incredibly rigorous process in Government, so whatever the rules are, the rules will have to be followed.
“There are no short cuts to that, as anyone who has had anything to do with the appointments system in the Civil Service knows.
“There are very strict rules in place.”
Matt Hancock 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.”
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