“Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina. She knows everything.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s position is hanging by a thread after newspapers published an image of him allegedly kissing an aide. Media attention has largely focused on the lurid details of the alleged affair and the fact that he breached – and has now admitted doing so – social distancing restrictions in place at the time about interactions with non-household members.
However, Hancock was already facing questions about his relationship with Gina Colangelo months ago, after appointing her to a non-executive director post at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) – because she is a shareholder of Luther Pendragon, a PR firm whose clients have been awarded government contracts worth millions of pounds, with at least one contract worth £46 million from the public purse.
Last autumn, the Sunday Times quoted one source describing Colangelo’s central role in Hancock’s decision-making:
Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina. She knows everything.
Boris Johnson has now said that he has accepted Hancock’s apology and considers the matter closed – the standard, brazen response to the exposure of gross misdeeds by those close to him.
But the allegations that the two are lovers do more than expose the hypocrisy of the Tories and – again – their contempt for the rules they were prepared to prosecute others for breaking during a national emergency. It raises even starker questions about the way in which the Tories – already judged to have done so unlawfully – handed out contracts to their mates, cronies and backers while 150,000 and more people died needlessly.
Hancock has to be forced out for the sake of the country – but the investigation into the Tories’ whole handling of this pandemic must not be allowed to end with his departure, let alone with Johnson’s attempt to once again make himself judge and jury on the conduct of his ministers and even of himself.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.