Matt Hancock took his sweetheart Gina Coladangelo to private dinners with the US Secretary of State at a G7 summit before later deleting the suggestion that he had invited her, according to leaked WhatsApp messages.
The Minister of Health, who was later forced to resign after his affair with Ms Coladangelo came to lighttook his lover, whom he had been seeing for a month, to two private dinners with his American counterpart as a guest.
He later tried to remove any suggestion he had invited her from an official ministerial response to a question from Labor MP Ben Bradshaw in parliament after details of his affair came to light.
The changes to the response were made after interference from him and his former political adviser Allan Nixon, reports indicate, after he was forced to resign from his position.
This is the latest disclosure published by The Telegraph after the paper got more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages from Mr Hancock’s phone by the journalist to whom he entrusted them to ghostwrite his book Pandemic Diaries.
Matt Hancock took Ms Coladangelo to two private dinners with the US Secretary of Health in June 2021 during the G7 summit
Matt Hancock gives a thumbs up before welcoming his G7 colleagues to Mansfield College, Oxford University, on 3 June 2021
Mr Hancock has accused Isabel Oakeshott of breaching a non-disclosure agreement and betraying the trust of their relationship, but the journalist insists she acted in the public interest.
The former Health Secretary invited Ms Coladangelo, with whom he had begun his affair a month earlier, to two dinners with US Health Secretary Xavier Becerra on June 3 and 4 at the University of Oxford, the Telegraph reports.
Nearly a month after the details of his affair came to light and Mr Hancock left, Ben Bradshaw, Labor MP for Exeter, asked the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to account for ‘what role former non-executive director Gina Colangelo starred in the June 2021 G7 Minister of Health Meeting.”
Reports published by the paper show the Ministry of Health’s original drafted response: “Gina Coladangelo attended the meeting of G7 Health Ministers at the request of the previous Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health and Social Care.”
But Mr Nixon sent a copy of the reply to Mr Hancock in which he appeared to have crossed this out, writing instead that Ms Coladangelo ‘played an advisory role to the Secretary of State at the G7 meeting’.
The political adviser had remained at the department to assist new Health Minister Sajid Javid but appears to have edited the response at Mr Hancock’s request.
The former health minister replied, “Are you sure this is the right response?”
He is said to have suggested changing it to: “Gina Coladangelo attended the G7 in her role as non-executive director of DHSC.”
Ms. Coladangelo, an old college friend of Mr. Hancock, was appointed to the department in September 2020. She resigned shortly after details of the affair were published.
The couple, pictured leaving 10 Downing Street, began their affair after Ms Coladangelo was appointed as a non-executive director at the department
The reports came to light after they were leaked by journalist Isabel Oakeshott
But by the time the answer was published on October 28, 2021 – more than three months after the question was asked – all references to Mr Hancock and the DHSC had been completely removed.
The response, read by Conservative MP and then Health Minister Edward Argar, read: ‘Ms Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Minister’s meeting as part of the UK delegation.
“All travel and accommodation expenses were covered as part of the department’s total booking. Mrs. Coladangelo has not declared any additional expenses.’
Mr. Bradshaw had also asked the department to clarify the cost to the public of Ms. Coladangelo’s attendance at the dinners, and whether she had claimed any expenses.
Leaked messages show that Mr. Hancock would have wanted the answer to be “zero” to this, but Mr. Nixon told him that the Permanent Secretary had brushed them aside.
Mr. Hancock replied that it was true she had not incurred any expenses, adding, “This is going to be another stupid show if it goes wrong.”
Mr. Nixon replied, “I know. Hence the marking. Leave with me.’
The posts revealed on Sunday follow a release earlier this week that showed the couple’s reaction to their fling becoming known.
In June 2021, CCTV footage of the former health minister and his now-girlfriend in a close embrace was published, sparking panic reactions – from shock over the leak, to brainstorming on how to weather the storm, to informing the prime minister and beyond. his wife.
In June 2021, CCTV footage of the former health minister and his now-girlfriend in an intimate embrace was published
Ms Coladangelo traveled to Australia in 2022 to welcome Mr Hancock to the jungle of I’m A Celeb
When news of his affair broke, Mr. Hancock told Damon Poole, the media adviser to the Department of Health, “how bad” the photos were, in which Mr. Poole said, “It’s a kiss and a heavy pat.”
The then health minister replied, “How the hell could someone have photographed that?”
The reports, revealed by The Telegraph on Friday, showed Mr Hancock’s affair began on May 4, and the CCTV footage was from two days later.
At the time, indoor gatherings of two or more people were prohibited and guidance was ordered to keep a minimum distance of one meter from each other.
Mr Hancock reportedly called Boris Johnson and informed him of the affair before going home to tell his wife and children.
Other messages were then sent in a group chat called ‘Crisis Management’ with him, Ms Coladangelo and media consultant Damon Poole.
After The Sun published the story, Mr Poole described whoever supplied the newspaper with the images as a ‘c***’.
In a WhatsApp message, Mr Hancock tells his media adviser: ‘I could apologize for the whole thing – after all, I cheated on my wife.’
He also told the media consultant, ‘WE DID NOT BROUGHT THE F***ING LAW OK’.
The former health minister divorced his wife when news of the affair broke and left his family home and his children to stay elsewhere.
Since then he has been photographed with his girlfriend on many occasions, most notably on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here when Ms. Coladangelo flew to Australia to meet him when he came out of the jungle.
Texts with Mr Nixon show the pair trying desperately to compile a list of MPs who have given ‘warm words’ who would be willing to tweet in Mr Hancock’s defense after the affair was revealed.
Reps for Matt Hancock have been contacted for comment.