Matt Hancock, the British Minister of Health, caught up by an affair in the midst of a pandemic

One of the most exposed men in the Johnson government is Matt Hancock, the British Minister for Health. The British left holds him partly responsible for the very poor response of Downing Street to the pandemic (nearly 128,000 official deaths). He has become the pet peeve of Dominic Cummings, the disgraced ex-special adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who never misses an opportunity to call for his resignation. A few days ago, the queen even blurted out about her: « poor man » (poor man), without understanding whether Elizabeth II was really ironic or sympathetic to her fate.

The pressure was further accentuated on this ambitious man, former collaborator of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, after a resounding scoop from the Sun, which displayed in “one”, Friday June 25, a photograph a little blurry but leaving little room for doubt. In this screenshot from a surveillance camera (dated May 6, on the premises of the Ministry of Health), we can see the Minister of Health, 42, kissing a woman full on the mouth. This is Gina Coladangelo, 43, an employee of the minister, explains the newspaper.

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Mr Hancock is married, father of three, ditto for Mme Coladangelo, in a relationship with Oliver Tress, founder of the ready-to-wear brand Oliver Bonas. But the scandal is not here: in early May, the British were still not supposed to have close contact with people outside their bubble or household – this recommendation was not lifted until May 17.

“A deplorable Minister of Health”

These rules of “social distancing”, Matt Hancock has never ceased to remind them. On May 16, for example, live on Sky News, he said: “We all have to be careful, we all know the risks, meeting outdoors is better than indoors”. In 2020, he had been among the toughest on star epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, calling for a police investigation after the Daily Telegraph revealed he received a woman at his home during the first lockdown.

In addition, the national media questioned the conditions of appointment – rather opaque – of Coladangelo at the Ministry of Health: she works there as a non-executive director and is paid 15,000 pounds (17,500 euros) per year by the British taxpayer. This career lobbyist knew Mr. Hancock when they were students at Oxford. They both hosted a radio station on the prestigious campus. Mr Hancock ended up apologizing on Friday noon, admitting to having violated the sanitary rules: “I did not respect the rules of social distancing in these circumstances, [ma conduite] disappointed and I’m really sorry ”, he said on Twitter.

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