The aide who kissed Matt Hancock in CCTV footage which ended his marriage and Health Secretary career was ‘asked in 2019 if they were having an affair’.
Gina Coladangelo, 43, is said to have denied the existence of any romance between her and Mr Hancock when she was quizzed by one of his allies.
Friends said on Saturday night the affair had been going on for months, despite others only seeming to find out when the steamy minute-long clip of them emerged.
Millionaire lobbyist Ms Coladangelo was questioned in the summer of 2019 after Mr Hancock’s ally became suspicious of their closeness, reports The Sunday Times.
Two sources also said that Mr Hancock was joined by Ms Coladangelo during an event that included a dinner and overnight visit – although it is not known if they stayed together – for G7 health ministers in Oxford on June 3 to 4.
Images and video showed Mr Hancock kissing the millionaire lobbyist one month earlier, leading to him handing in his resignation as Health Secretary and admitting ‘those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them’.
The pair, who met while studying at Oxford University, have been pictured together at public gatherings for nearly two years, with one image dating back to the Conservative Party Conference in September 2019.
‘They are in love,’ a close friend of Mr Hancock said last night, adding: ‘It is serious.’
Millionaire lobbyist Gina Coladangelo (pictured above) was questioned in the summer of 2019 after Matt Hancock’s ally became suspicious of their closeness, reports The Sunday Times
Images and video showed Mr Hancock kissing the millionaire lobbyist last month, leading to him handing in his resignation as Health Secretary and admitting ‘those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them’
The claims follow Mr Hancock writing in his resignation letter today: ‘The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis.
‘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.’
The Prime Minister said he was ‘sorry’ to receive Mr Hancock’s resignation as Health Secretary.
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’.
Boris Johnson added: ‘I am grateful for your support and believe that your contribution to public service is far from over.’
Ms Coladangelo, initially taken on by Mr Hancock as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in early 2020, is also leaving her position on the board of the Department of Health.
Mr Hancock met Gina when they worked on the Oxford University student radio station together in the 1990s.
He was a minority sports reporter on Oxygen FM while studying for a philosophy, politics and economics degree.
The pair, who met while studying at Oxford University, have been pictured together at public gatherings for nearly two years, with one image (above) dating back to the Conservative Party Conference in September 2019
Gina Coladangelo pictured with Matt Hancock at the BBC Broadcasting House in central London in June this year. The ex-Health Secretary and his aide are said to be a ‘love match’
Ms Coladangelo who was on the same course and also worked at the radio station where they became close friends.
They would have studied together, volunteered together on the radio station and socialised together while at Exeter College, Oxford.
She was described as Hancock’s ‘closest friend’ from university when he appointed her as an unpaid adviser last year.
Mr Hancock has spoken fondly of his days working alongside Ms Coladangelo on the now defunct radio station.
As newly appointed Minister for Digital and Culture in 2016 he said: ‘I think I somehow knew, when as a student I worked as minority sports correspondent for Oxygen 107.9 FM, that one day I’d become Minister for radio.’
Matt and his wife Martha Hancock seen attending the VO5 NME Awards 2018 at London’s O2 Brixton Academy
Ms Coladangelo is married to dashing millionaire entrepreneur Oliver Tress, 54, who went to Kate Middleton’s school, Marlborough College, and founded the High Street fashion and lifestyle chain Oliver Bonas