Matt Hancock scandal: Serious questions remain about how Gina Coladangelo became his aide – Daniel Johnson MSP

The Matt Hancock revelations are both deeply troubling and distressing for his wife and young children caught in the middle of it.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:55 am
Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo before revelations about their affair forced his resignation as Health Secretary (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

He’s thankfully done the right thing and resigned, although it's baffling he left it so long.

As the Health Secretary who introduced such curtailments to freedom and movement in England to combat the Covid pandemic, his authority is shot and so there is no way he could continue in post.

There are further unanswered questions here though. Why didn't Boris Johnson sack Hancock when the story first emerged? The Prime Minister at first said he accepted the apology and considered the matter closed. However now he is defending the timescale and the resignation.

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There are also the issues around Gina Coladangelo’s appointment as a non-executive director at the Department of Health and how it was she had a parliamentary pass.

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The fact she has been friends with Matt Hancock since university and he employed her as an aide last March before her director role makes the matter a little more murkier. The relationship should have been declared before any appointment was made but this is still unclear.

And lastly there are the security issues around how the footage even got out. While it’s still not known how the Sun acquired it, it does pose serious questions around why such a camera was in the office of a Cabinet Secretary in the first place.

There are still many and significant questions to answer. But at least there are some ministers who will resign, something that's become unheard of in Scotland in recent years.

Daniel Johnson is Scottish Labour & Co-op MSP for Edinburgh Southern

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