Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock says his affair with adviser Gina Coladangelo did not break Covid laws – but accepts he had to quit for breaching social distancing measures
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Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he broke Covid guidelines because he “fell in love” with his aide.
The former Cabinet minister was forced to resign last year after leaked CCTV showed him flirting with adviser Gina Coladangelo in his Whitehall office.
The footage was taken on May 6, 2021, when social gatherings in the homes of people from different households are prohibited by law and guidelines encourage people to stay two meters apart and avoid ” direct contact”.
Mr Hancock initially clung to his job and Boris Johnson was criticized for not firing him.
But the next day, he resigned after admitting that he had broken Covid’s own guidelines.
In a long interview with Diary of a CEO on the podcast, Mr Hancock said he had “fallen in love” and “it all happened pretty quickly” – but insisted he hadn’t broken the law.
Diary of a CEO / Youtube)
Wearing a navy turtleneck, the senior Tory spoke at length about the incident that brought his Cabinet career to an abrupt end.
“We fell in love and it was completely out of my control,” he said.
“Of course I regret the pain that has been caused and the very, very public nature – anyone who has been through this knows how difficult it is, how painful it is.”
Mr Hancock said he fell in love with Ms Coladangelo – whom he had known since college – when they were working together at the Department of Health and Social Care.
He left his wife and children to start a relationship with Miss Coladangelo, who was also married with children.
West Suffolk MP said: “It all happened pretty quickly, It really happened after the rules were lifted, but the guidance still applies.
“So I’m not trying to claim that, I’m not bitter about this because I broke the rules, I appreciate it, I broke the guidelines.”
He continued: “I resigned because at that time I broke the principles of social distancing. They are not really the rule. They are not the law. But that’s not the problem.
“The point is that they were the guidelines I suggested. And that happened because I fell in love with someone.”
Mr Hancock admitted to breaking his own direction when he abruptly stepped down from his Cabinet post last year.
In a letter to Boris Johnson at the time, he wrote: “We have worked hard as a nation to fight the pandemic. The last thing I want is my private life to separate. distract attention from the single focus that is leading us out of this crisis.
“I want to reiterate my apologies for breaking guidance, and apologize to my family and loved ones for getting them through this. I also need to be with my children at this time. this.”
In a video posted on Twitter at the time, Mr Hancock admitted he had to go, saying: “I understand the enormous sacrifices that everyone in this country, you have made.
“And those of us who make these rules have to follow them and that’s why I have to resign.”
Mr Hancock also raved about his handling of the pandemic – and said he would keep the job even if he knew Covid was coming.
“When the really bad thing happens and you’re working, you have to stand up and be counted,” he said.
Senior Tory ministers acknowledged ministers knew that some of the measures they took during the pandemic were “very dangerous”.
“The cost of action is great, the cost of inaction is also great,” he said.
“So as we sit around the cabinet making these decisions, we know that the balance between the two is a huge unknown.
“So with an unprecedented virus with very little data, we’re basically doing these things where we know we’re going to do a lot of damage.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/matt-hancock-says-broke-covid-26346017 Matt Hancock says he broke his own Covid guidelines because he 'fallen in love'