Matt Hancock, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care since 2018, broke the silence about his alleged affair with his most senior aide, lobbyist Gina Coladangelo. On Friday, he admitted that he “breached social distancing rules” after being caught on CCTV passionately kissing her against his Whitehall office’s door.
However, he neglected to mention his wife of 15 years in his public apology after the media revealed his explosive affair.
Mr. Hancock, 48, said: “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry. I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter.” However, he refused to resign amid calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to sack him.
On Friday, Mr. Johnson said that he would not sack Mr. Hancock after accepting his apology.
According to the prime minister’s official spokesman, Mr. Johnson now “considered the matter closed” and refused to answer those who asked whether Mr. Hancock had violated the law or the ministerial code. “You have seen the Health Secretary’s statement and so I would point you to that, I don’t really have anything further to add,” he added.
“He accepts that he has broken the social distancing guidelines. The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary’s apology and considers the matter closed,” the spokesman went on.
The prime minister’s comments came after a YouGov poll revealed that 49% of people believe Mr. Hancock should resign as Secretary of Health, with 25% saying he should stay and the remaining 26% being unsure.
CCTV footage released Friday morning showed Mr. Hancock’s kiss with Ms. Coladangelo, a mother-of-three and wife to Oliver Tress, founder of the Oliver Bonas clothing store.
The brazen steamy clinch allegedly took place in the corridor in front of his office at the Department for Health’s headquarters in central London on May 6 this year at around 3:00 p.m. local time. It was the day after the UK local elections and a week after he got his COVID-19 jab.
Mr. Hancock has asked for “privacy on this personal matter.”