Matt Hancock still facing questions after resignation

Matt Hancock is still facing several questions following his resignation as health secretary over an affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo.

Labour wants an inquiry into an alleged use of private emails for government business, which could be a rule breach.

There are also questions over Ms Coladangelo’s parliamentary pass and Mr Hancock’s entitlement to severance pay.

The couple were caught on camera kissing, breaking the government’s social distancing guidelines.

Mr Hancock resigned on Saturday and was replaced as health secretary by former Chancellor Sajid Javid.

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It is understood that Mr Hancock, a father of three, has left his wife of 15 years, Martha.

He and Ms Coladangelo, a friend since university, were shown in a clinch in his office at the Department of Health.

Their relationship has since been described to the BBC as “serious”, with the couple wanting to “make a go of it”.

“We need to know how wide this goes and how much government
business is being conducted in secret.”

Email demand

The Sunday Times reported that that Mr Hancock had potentially breached guidelines by using his personal email account for government business.

In a letter to the cabinet secretary and the Information Commissioner, the UK’s top civil servant, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner demanded a “full-scale investigation” into whether private emails had been used to discuss government contracts and if their use might have potentially broken the law.

“We need to know how wide this goes and how much government business is being conducted in secret,” she said.

Cabinet Office guidelines state that where government business is conducted using private email addresses, steps should be taken “to ensure the relevant information is accessible”.

They say a copy should be sent to a departmental email address for record-keeping purposes, but also so it can be requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Parliamentary pass

Labour also queried why Ms Coladangelo – who has now quit her role as a £15,000 non-executive director of the Department of Health – obtained her parliamentary pass.

This was sponsored last year by junior health minister Lord Bethell, the Times reports. It adds that Ms Coladangelo is understood never to have worked for Lord Bethell.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said there were still “huge questions still to answer”.

Severance pay

It has been reported that Mr Hancock will not claim the £16,000 payment he is entitled to on leaving office.

But Labour is questioning why such an award should be on offer in the first place and demanding that Mr Hancock be banned from receiving it.

After Mr Hancock resigned, he said, referring to his breaching of social distancing guidelines, that “those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them”.

CCTV worries

It is not known how the footage of Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo – a married mother of three – kissing was obtained.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said he believed “all colleagues in government” would now be asking officials to “make sure their offices are as safe as possible” from “unauthorised surveillance”.

It was not the role of CCTV to “snoop” on ministers, he said, calling it a “a worry” because footage and material could end up in the “wrong hands, with states that wish us ill or wish the United Kingdom ill”.

Mr Javid will address the House of Commons later on Monday on whether existing Covid measures in England are to be eased on 19 July.

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