Matt Hancock under pressure over Covid rule violation as new video captures secret kiss Bedford News

Mr Hancock is accused of having had an extramarital affair with his close collaborator Gina Coladangelo (Photo: Getty Images)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock faces increasing pressure to step down after being caught kissing a close associate in violation of Covid-19 restrictions.

The calls for his resignation come after the publication of video footage of Mr Hancock in an embrace with Gina Coladangelo on Friday, June 25, following stills from CCTV earlier today, prompting Labor to consider his “desperately untenable” position.

The Covid-19 Bereved Families For Justice group, representing those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic, urged the Prime Minister to remove him from his job, saying his actions had shattered the “position of neutrality on driving ministerial “.

Calls for resignation

Lawyers say Mr Hancock may have broken the law regarding coronavirus restrictions, although he only admitted to breaking the guidelines.

The health secretary said he was “very sorry” for letting people down, after The Sun first reported that he was having an extramarital affair with his close associate.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far resisted calls to sack Mr Hancock for the breach, with a Downing Street spokesman saying he had accepted his apology and “considered the matter closed”.

In a statement released Friday (June 25), Mr Hancock apologized for his actions, saying: “I accept that I violated social distancing guidelines under these circumstances, I have let people down and I am really sorry.

“I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and I would be grateful for my family’s confidentiality on this personal matter. “

Mr Hancock, 42, has been married for 15 years to his wife Martha, and the couple have three children. Ms. Coladangelo, 43, is also married with three children.

She became a non-executive director at the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) last year, but questions have now been raised about her appointment to the post.

A flagrant violation of the regulations

Metropolitan Police said they would not investigate any offenses, which allegedly took place last month, because “of course the MPS does not investigate Covid-related issues retrospectively.”

Human rights lawyer Adam Wagner said Mr Hancock’s footage showed a blatant violation of coronavirus social distancing regulations as they were illegal at the time for any gathering inside , unless an exemption applies.

He told BBC News: “I’m pretty clear, although you never know for sure, that there was a breach of the regulations, on the grounds that at the time it was illegal to collect more than ‘a person anywhere inside, unless an exception is applied.

“The only one that can reasonably be said to apply or perhaps apply would be that it was reasonably necessary for business purposes.”

“But based on what we know and what we can see in the pictures, it does not appear to be reasonably necessary for business purposes.”

Mr Hancock is also accused of breaking the ministerial code and in a letter to Mr Johnson Deputy Labor Party leader Angela Rayner said Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministerial interests, should investigate the behavior of Mr. Hancock.

Labor Party President Anneliese Dodds said while Mr Hancock, who had been married to the mother of his three children, Martha, for 15 years, had secretly maintained a relationship with an adviser he had appointed to a post funded by taxpayers, it was “a flagrant abuse of power and a clear conflict of interest.”

However, a spokesperson for No 10 insisted that “correct procedure” had been followed in regards to the appointment of Ms Coladangelo, but declined to go into details.

Who is Gina Coladangelo?

Ms Coladangelo, who is married to founder of retailer Oliver Bonas, Oliver Tress, has been a friend of Mr Hancock’s since their days together at the University of Oxford.

She was appointed to DHSC last year and was initially hired as an unpaid advisor on a six-month contract in March 2020.

She was later appointed non-executive director of the department, earning at least £ 15,000.

However, there was no public record of the appointment.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-26 08:22:37

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