MATT Hancock’s mistress Gina Coladangelo revealed the Health Secretary fibbed during his student days, in a radio interview that has resurfaced.
The married mum-of-three, now 43, told a BBC Sounds profile of Hancock he had told a “white lie” when he was a studying at Oxford University working on the student radio station.
🔵 Follow our Matt Hancock live blog for all the latest updates on his affair
During the programme, which originally aired on April 25, 2020, presenter Mark Coles described Coladangelo as Hancock’s “close friend of more than 20 years”.
Coladangelo said she had met Hancock when the pair worked at the student radio station Oxygen FM, revealing while she read the news Hancock read the sport.
She said: “I’ve always joked with him that he read the sport because he wasn’t good enough to do the news.
“But I think it gave him a bit of an early head’s up into aggressive questioning from journalists and hacks.”
Coladangelo went on to reveal how Hancock had told a “white lie” about watching a rugby match at Twickenham when in reality he was watching the game in a pub.
She said: “He got one of these special tickets to go and sit in the press box with all the other serious journalists at Twickenham to watch a big match.
“I think it was Australia vs England.
“He actually overslept and hot-footed it to the train but didn’t make it back to Twickenham from Oxford in time so Matt had to get off the train at Reading, find a pub, watch the first half and then go to phone box outside and report in.
“So he told a white lie, pretended he was at Twickenham watching the rugby when in fact he was in a pub in Reading.
“Successfully, no one ever found out.”
Who is Gina Coladangelo?
The couple have three children.
She is also a director and major shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which offers clients a “deep understanding of the mechanics of government”.
Hancock and Coladangelo first met at Oxford University in the early 2000s but Mr Hancock went on to wed Martha Hoyer Millar in 2006.
It sparked claims of a ‘chumocracy’ in November, when it also emerged she had accompanied Hancock to confidential meetings with civil servants and visited No10.
In September, Hancock appointed Coladangelo as a non-executive director at DHSC, meaning that she is a member of the board that scrutinises the department.
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 revelations about Hancock’s time at Oxford University resurfaced after The Sun revealed the pair had been caught in a steamy embrace in Hancock’s office on May 6.
The Health Secretary, 42, issued an apology earlier today but refused to resign and instead said he “has let people down and is very sorry” after his brazen steamy clinch in Whitehall was exposed by The Sun.
CCTV images published this morning showed him passionately kissing his aide – with the dad-of-three shamelessly asking for “privacy on this personal matter” just hours later.
And he admitted he had “broken social distancing rules” after lecturing the country on coronavirus regulations throughout the pandemic.
In his very short statement, in which he failed to apologise to his wife or acknowledge his behaviour, he 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 it appears Hancock somehow managed to cling on to his top job as the PM sensationally backed him despite calls for him to get the chop.
Downing Street said the Prime Minister accepted the Health Secretary’s grovelling apology for snogging his top aide.
But a No10 spokesman said this afternoon: “The Health Secretary set out that he accepted that he breached the social distancing guidelines.
“Obviously he has apologised for that. The Prime Minister has accepted the health secretary’s apology and considers the matter closed.”
It comes as:
Anneliese Dodds MP, chair of the Labour Party, said: “If Matt Hancock has been secretly having a relationship with an adviser in his office – who he personally appointed to a taxpayer-funded role – it is a blatant abuse of power and a clear conflict of interest.
“The charge sheet against Matt Hancock includes wasting taxpayers’ money, leaving care homes exposed and now being accused of breaking his own COVID rules.
“His position is hopelessly untenable. Boris Johnson should sack him.”
The world woke up to the news that he cheated on his wife with Gina Coladangelo, 43, who he hired last year with taxpayers’ money, as Covid gripped Britain.
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.
At the time, Brits were under severe restrictions before measures were eased on May 17.
Single adults were essentially banned from having casual sex as people were not allowed to spend the night in different houses.
Hugs were also banned, as well as indoor pints and holidays.
Hancock now faces a tense showdown with Boris as he battles to keep his top job, with the Ministerial Code stressing that working relationships should be “proper and appropriate”.
It says: “Working relationships, including with civil servants, and parliamentary staff should be proper and appropriate.”
In the damning footage, Hancock 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.”
Latest news as Matt Hancock’s affair with close aide is exposed in video
GRAD TO WORSE
How Matt Hancock’s friendship with Gina Coladangelo became a secret affair
MATT’S YOUR LOT
Where was the Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo kissing video filmed?
Matt Hancock backed by PM but as questions pile up, will he survive?
HOW DARE YOU
Does Matt Hancock have no shame? I couldn’t hug my sick father before he died
STILL MATT IT
Matt Hancock pictured getting loved up on secret dinner date with aide
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.
555 total views, 2 views today