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West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock resigns as health secretary on back of secret relationship scandal



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Matt Hancock has resigned as health secretary less than 48 hours after bombshell truths about his love life came to light.

The West Suffolk MP quit as pressure on him to leave his cabinet position mounted after images of him and his advisor Gina Coladangelo in a passionate embrace - breaching the coronavirus restrictions he helped to introduce - were made public.

Mr Hancock, who became health secretary in 2018, finally quit this evening after he admitted he ‘let down’ the country.

Matt Hancock with Gina Coladangelo (Yui Mok/PA)
Matt Hancock with Gina Coladangelo (Yui Mok/PA)

In a letter to Boris Johnson, the prime minister, Mr Hancock said serving the country had been the ‘honour of his life’ but that the government ‘owe it to the people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic’ to be honest about their behaviour.

"The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract my attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis,” he said.

"I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need to be with my children at this time."

Matt Hancock has resigned after bombshell revelations about his love life were revealed. Tonight he wrote a letter, inset, to Boris Johnson to tell he he would be quitting his Cabinet job.
Matt Hancock has resigned after bombshell revelations about his love life were revealed. Tonight he wrote a letter, inset, to Boris Johnson to tell he he would be quitting his Cabinet job.

Mr Johnson told his now-former health secretary that he was sorry to receive his resignation.

He said Mr Hancock 'should leave office very proud of what you have achieved - not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us'.

The prime minister added: "I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over."

Matt Hancock with his wife Martha. Picture: Mark Westley
Matt Hancock with his wife Martha. Picture: Mark Westley

Mr Hancock’s cabinet career began to unravel yesterday after revelations in The Sun showed him locking lips with his 43-year-old university friend, who he has known since his days studying in Oxford.

In the 60-second video clip of him, recorded on May 6, he looked around the door of his ministerial office before closing it.

He then leaned back on it and Mr Hancock and Mrs Colangelo hugged and kissed, as his hands slid down to her bottom .

And on May 23 the pair were pictured at a West London restaurant, it has been revealed today.

Both Mr Hancock and Mrs Coladangelo are married with three children.

The former health secretary now faces questions about how long the relationship has gone on for.

Matt Hancock cutting the ribbon at Newmarket's Oakfield Surgery, which moved to Newmarket Hospital in September 2020.
Matt Hancock cutting the ribbon at Newmarket's Oakfield Surgery, which moved to Newmarket Hospital in September 2020.

Mrs Coladangelo became director on the board of the Department of Health last year at Mr Hancock’s instigation, a job which comes with a £15,000 allowance.

Mr Hancock’s time as health secretary has been dominated by the coronavirus crisis, which has seen people’s lives transformed as they were ordered by government to stay at home.

But throughout his time as the Secretary of State for Health, he has been hit by criticism.

Matt Hancock with Dr Steven Dunn at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, right, and Dr Nick Jenkins, centre, consultant in emergency medicine.
Matt Hancock with Dr Steven Dunn at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, right, and Dr Nick Jenkins, centre, consultant in emergency medicine.

In April 2020, Mr Hancock came under fire when it emerged that the target he had set for 100,000 daily Covid tests had been met only by changing the method of counting, to include up to 40,000 home test kits which had been sent, but not yet completed.

On October 11, Mr Hancock denied breaching a 10pm drinking curfew in the Smoking Room bar in the House of Commons, put in place because of the pandemic.

And in May this year Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s former top aide, told a parliamentary committee the then health secretary exhibited ‘criminal, disgraceful behaviour that caused serious harm’ during his handling of the pandemic.

According to Mr Cummings, ‘tens of thousands of people died who didn't need to die’ during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic due to what he claimed to be ‘criminal, disgraceful behavior’ within Downing Street under the supervision of Mr Hancock.

Mr Cummings also said that Mr Hancock should have been fired as health secretary.

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk