Flowers are left on doorstep of Matt Hancock's London homeJune 26, 2021
Flowers are left on doorstep of Matt Hancock’s London home where his wife Martha is staying with their three children amid outpouring of sympathy
- Pink peonies in a glass vase were placed on doorstep by a florist delivery man
- Mr Hancock believed to be staying at family’s home in West Suffolk constituency
- Mrs Hancock remained at the house in London with their daughter and two sons
- Health Secretary’s wife of 15 years glanced at reporters as she left house today
A bouquet of flowers was delivered to Matt Hancock’s London home where his wife Martha is living – as the Health Secretary is nowhere to be seen.
The pink peonies in a glass vase were placed on the front doorstep by a florist delivery man who arrived just after 10am. A card could be seen poking out of the arrangement, but it is not known who the flowers were from.
Mr Hancock is believed to be staying at the family’s home in his West Suffolk constituency as his cheating scandal rages on – while Mrs Hancock has remained at the house in London with their daughter and two sons.
The Health Secretary’s wife of 15 years today glanced at reporters as she left the house wearing dark sunglasses for a dog walk.
Whitehall rumours claim she threw Mr Hancock – who she met at university – out over images showing him kissing his married aide Gina Coladangelo in the corridor outside his Department for Health office.
Mrs Hancock did not say anything to reporters today but looked pensive and sad on her second outing since news broke of her husband’s alleged infidelity on Friday.
A bouquet of flowers was delivered to Matt Hancock’s London home where his wife Martha is living while the Health Secretary hides out over his cheating scandal
The pink peonies in a glass vase were placed on the front doorstep by a florist delivery man who arrived just after 10am
Earlier today, an ally who was set to defend Mr Hancock on the radio failed to turn up and was ‘not answering his phone’ in fresh embarrassment for the beleaguered Health Secretary.
The unnamed supporter was due to be interviewed at around 7.20am on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, hours after a 60-second clip showing Mr Hancock kissing Mrs Coladangelo emerged.
But the friend of the Health Secretary did not show up, with presenters Mishal Husain and Martha Kearney forced to explain that he’s ‘not been answering his phone’.
‘We had been expecting to speak to a supporter of Matt Hancock this morning but he’s not been answering his phone. We will keep trying,’ the programme announced.
The ally would have been a rare voice in support of the cabinet minister, who Boris Johnson is being urged to sack amid a tidal wave of hypocrisy allegations.
The Health Secretary’s wife of 15 years today glanced at reporters as she left the house wearing dark sunglasses for a dog walk
Mrs Hancock was seen with a woman – believed to be her mother – outside the family’s London home
An ally who was set to defend Matt Hancock on the radio failed to turn up and was ‘not answering his phone’ in fresh embarrassment for the beleaguered Health Secretary. Pictured: This is the image that has left Matt Hancock fighting for his job that appears to show him kissing his millionaire aide – who is on the public payroll – in the corridor outside his office in May this year
Despite championing draconian restrictions on ordinary citizens, he kissed and embraced Mrs Coladangelo on May 6 – eleven days before the ban on hugging was lifted. Both are married with three children.
Mr Hancock had put Mrs Coladangelo, a friend from university, on the public payroll only last year. He made no comment on claims he was having an affair with the 43-year-old in his apology yesterday but added: ‘I have let people down and am very sorry.’
Astonishingly, however, he refused to resign and, after crisis talks in No 10, the Prime Minister personally backed him to stay on and said he ‘considered the matter closed’.
Last night, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick backed the PM’s stance, adding that the public should allow Hancock to ‘get on with the job’.
He told BBC Radio’s 4 Any Questions: ‘There’s a task to be done, Matt is on the job doing that, and I think we should allow him to get on with the job.’
He added: ‘The rules have been hard. It is everybody’s duty to follow the rules, but equally I’ve not been somebody who has criticised and condemned people when they’ve made mistakes.’
Mr Hancock said sorry for breaking social distancing and asked for ‘privacy’ for his family, but refused to resign as Health Secretary
The decision not to fire Mr Hancock prompted fury last night across the political spectrum, among members of the public and even from business leaders enraged by the Health Secretary’s hypocrisy.
Tory whips were bombarded with complaints from their MPs.
A Savanta ComRes snap poll found the public wanted Mr Hancock to quit by a margin of 58 to 25. A separate YouGov survey had the margin at 49 to 25.
Support for the 42-year-old was ebbing even in Downing Street, with one senior figure saying his conduct was ‘gross’ and describing the apology he offered yesterday as ‘pathetic’.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘It will all be down to public opinion – it’s the only thing No 10 cares about. They’re polling, focus-grouping all the time and if that starts showing the public want him out then he could be gone by Monday.’
Another Conservative MP said: ‘It’s getting like Animal Farm: all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.’
Sayeeda Warsi, a former Conservative Party chairman, attacked the failure to sack Mr Hancock, saying: ‘It’s a bad decision by Matt and a bad decision by the PM.
‘He’s got a huge amount of questions to answer in relation to Covid contracts, access to parliament, giving out jobs. Is there anything anybody could do any more which would make them resign?’
Mr Hancock had put Mrs Coladangelo (pictured together), a friend from university, on the public payroll only last year. He made no comment on claims he was having an affair with the 43-year-old in his apology yesterday, but added: ‘I have let people down and am very sorry’
Hannah Brady, of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said: ‘Hancock has treated bereaved families with contempt. He’s got to go.’ In a letter to Mr Johnson the campaign group said that Mr Hancock’s continuing presence in the Cabinet was ‘an embarrassment to the Government’.
Labour also called for the Health Secretary to go and branded the Prime Minister ‘spineless’ for failing to sack him.
Party chairman Anneliese Dodds said: ‘The charge sheet against Matt Hancock includes wasting taxpayers’ money, leaving care homes exposed and now being accused of breaking his own Covid rules. His position is hopelessly untenable. Boris Johnson should sack him.’
It comes as newly emerged footage appears to show Mr Hancock checking the corridor is clear before closing the door, leaning on it to stop it opening before the pair launch into their passionate embrace.
And speaking to MailOnline tonight, the aide’s millionaire businessman father Rino Coladangelo, 70, refused to comment other than to say: ‘My daughter is a wonderful woman.’
There was no on-camera apology to the public from the Health Secretary yesterday despite questions over whether he had lost his focus on the pandemic.
The Health Secretary, 42, has been seen having a passionate clinch with millionaire lobbyist Gina Coladangelo (pictured here with Matt Hancock outside Downing Street in May), according to The Sun
When Neil Ferguson, a key government adviser, resigned for breaching lockdown rules last year, Mr Hancock said he was right to go and the police should investigate.
Last September Mr Hancock told people not to start romantic relationships because of the risk it could spread Covid.
And on May 16, ten days after his clinch with Mrs Coladangelo, he said people should be ‘careful’ about the new freedom to hug – and suggested they should do so only outside with people who had been fully vaccinated. Liberal Democrat health spokesman Munira Wilson said: ‘Matt Hancock is a terrible Health Secretary and should have been sacked a long time ago for his failures.
‘This latest episode of hypocrisy will break the trust with the British public. He was telling families not to hug loved ones, while doing whatever he liked in the workplace.
‘Rules for them and rules for us is no way to run a country.’
Mystery surrounds the recruitment of Mrs Coladangelo, who met Mr Hancock while volunteering at the student radio station at Oxford University in the 1990s. She worked on Mr Hancock’s failed Tory leadership campaign in 2019 and was secretly taken on as an unpaid adviser at the Department of Health last year before being made a non-executive director on a £15,000 contract.
A Tory source said the pair had become inseparable, adding: ‘They always appeared to be incredibly close. Her status was always slightly mysterious but she went everywhere with him. She was in every meeting.’
The Health Secretary was grilled about his conduct by senior figures from the Cabinet Office’s propriety and ethics team before Mr Johnson decided he would stand by him. The Prime Minister, who was sacked by Michael Howard for lying about an extramarital affair, is said to have been reluctant to hand the media a scalp.
Downing Street refused to comment yesterday on whether Mr Hancock had offered his resignation at any point.
The episode echoes the infamous lockdown-busting trip to Durham made by Mr Cummings last year.
Paul Charles, founder of The PC Agency, a travel consultancy, said: ‘Most people in the country will be asking themselves why they should listen to advice on travel and social distancing when the Health Secretary isn’t even following the rules. The sector has been so badly hit, it’s even more galling now to see ministers in such positions.
‘Most people will be questioning whether Matt Hancock has any position of authority.’
In its letter to the Prime Minister, Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice said: ‘If Matt Hancock is unable to find the decency to do the right thing and resign his position it is paramount that you relieve him from it.’
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