Matt Hancock deletes Instagram story seeking ‘brilliant women’ to join his team

The Health Secretary has removed a very awkwardly timed Instagram post (Picture: AFP)

Matt Hancock has removed an Instagram post about how he works alongside ‘brilliant women’, hours after details of an alleged an affair with his aide emerged.

The Health Secretary is at the centre of a scandal after CCTV from his Whitehall office showed appeared to show him sharing a steamy kiss with Gina Coladangelo, 43.

He hired the millionaire lobbyist as an unpaid advisor in March last year, before appointing her as a non-executive director of his department in September.

The incident is alleged to have taken place in the corridor outside his ninth-floor Whitehall office at around 3pm on May 6.

Covid guidance against physical contact with people from other households was lifted 11 days later, but a friend of the Health Secretary’s reportedly told the Sun last night that ‘no rules have been broken’.

Despite the newspaper breaking the story last night, it took until around 8.45am this morning for Hancock to delete a post on his official Instagram account seeking more women to join his team.

The post read: ‘I work alongside some brilliant women. If you’re a woman who wants to get involved in politics swipe up.’

Matt Hancock's Instagram page still has post on story saying he works with lots of brilliant women

The Health Secretary called for ‘brilliant women’ to join his team at the Department of Health
Hancock is accused of cheating on his wife of 15 years with Gina Coladangelo

It was an Instagram story, which are live on the platform for 24 hours, and was up for around 21.

This suggests Hancock, 42, didn’t know the story of his alleged affair was coming.

A whistleblower who used to work at the Department of Health claimed the pair had regular clinches together.

The source added: ‘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.’

Hancock has been married for 15 years to his wife Martha, with whom he has three children.

Communications director and lobbyist Mrs Coladangelo, whose husband Oliver Tress is the founder of clothing shop Oliver Bonas.

The Health Secretary quietly appointed Mrs Coladangelo as an unpaid adviser in March last year (Picture: PA)
Hancock’s wife Martha leaves their London home this morning after news of the alleged affair broke (Picture: Nigel Howard)

The mum-of-three is also a director and major shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which offers clients a ‘deep understanding of the mechanics of government’.

Hancock quietly appointed her on a six-month contract as an unpaid adviser in March last year, sparking claims of a ‘chumocracy’ when it came to light in November.

The pair are first thought to have met when they were studying at Oxford University.

It also emerged Mrs Coladangelo had accompanied the Health Secretary to confidential meetings with civil servants and had visited No 10.

In September last year, Hancock appointed her as a non-executive director the department, making her an influential member of its oversight board.

She can claim up to £15,000 in taxpayers’ money in the role, potentially rising by another £5,000, but there is no public record of her appointment.

A DHSC spokesman said the appointment was ‘made in the usual way and followed correct procedure’.

Mrs Coladangelo was also given a parliamentary pass in April, sponsored by hereditary peer, health minister and former lobbyist Lord Bethell, it is understood.

Calling for a probe into the alleged affair, a Labour Party spokesperson said: ‘Ministers, like everyone, are entitled to a private life.

‘However, when taxpayers’ money is involved or jobs are being offered to close friends who are in a personal relationship with a minister, then that needs to be looked into.

‘The government needs to be open and transparent about whether there are any conflicts of interests or rules that have been broken.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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