How Matt Hancock managed to turbocharge the traditional Tory sex scandal – Susan Morrison

Tories always serve up a good sex scandal.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:30 pm
Matt Hancock looks at the phone of his aide Gina Coladangelo last month, two weeks before it emerged they were having an affair (Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)

It's a long and inglorious roll call of ignominy including John Profumo, Cecil Parkinson and even Sir John Major, a man regarded as so boring he could send himself to sleep until Edwina Currie dropped the bombshell that Britain's most beige man was actually a firecracker behind closed doors.

Doors, incidentally, that didn’t have CCTV cameras pointed at them.

So, given that history, Mr Hancock should have known what happens to politicians who don’t keep their hands and faces out of other people's spaces, particularly women they’ve put on the government payroll without checking with the taxpayer first.

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You’ve got to hand it to Mr Hancock. He took a straighforward sex scandal and turbocharged it with a financial uproar. Probably the only time in his life he’s ever actually improved something.

Mr Hancock gave Ms Coladangelo a plum little number as a ‘non-executive director’. She was paid £15,000 for 15 days work. In a year.

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Matt Hancock scandal: Serious questions remain about how Gina Coladangelo became...

Her job description included responsibility for overseeing Mr Hancock's performance as a minister. Presumably that’s what she was doing behind that door. Good of her to share her ministerial scrutinising technique with the people who paid that bill. Us.

There’s loads of these ‘non-executive directors’, apparently. So, now we know where all that money they said they’d get for the NHS is going. Remember? That £350 million. It was on the side of a bus. Must be true.

Got no idea how you get these wee part-time jobs, but I’m up for a couple of grand for a few days’ work. Draw the line at overseeing the minister's snogging performance though.

In bureaucratic jargon, these ‘non-executive directors’ are known as NEDs. Round here, a ned is quite a different beast. I am starting to think that appointing some of our homegrown neds might not be a bad idea, especially the ones who tear about setting fire to bins, littering up the Links and vandalising the bus stops.

After all, that’s just Bullingdon club behaviour without the fancy dress, so Boris would feel right at home with them.

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