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Matt Hancock’s Response to Footage of Him Kissing Aide Revealed in New Leaked Text

100,000 messages of Matt Hancock leaked

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED KINGDOM: Newly leaked messages between Matt Hancock and his staff reveal that then-Health Secretary Scott McCalmin tried to save his career after video of his embrace with aide Gina Coladangelo surfaced.

Matt Hancock’s message leaked

They are among the most recent set of WhatsApp conversations to surface as a result of the leak of 100,000 messages by journalist Isabel Oakeshott to the Daily Telegraph.

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The most recent tranche to be released centres on the hours after Hancock found that a stolen video, showing him flouting social distance rules, would be featured on the Sun’s front page in June 2021.

He announced his resignation as health minister shortly after this. The messages, which were made public by the Telegraph, show Matt discussing the policies in effect at the time and determining what his initial response to the media should be.

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Hancock questioned Damon Poole, his special advisor, in anticipation of the release, “How bad are the pictures?” When informed that it was “a snog and heavy petting,” he retorted, “How the f##k did anyone photograph that?”

The messages also display the reactions of Hancock and Coladangelo to the footage obtained by the Sun.

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“OMFG,” Coladangelo stated.

Crikey.  I’m not sure there’s much news value in that, and I can’t say it’s very enjoyable viewing,” Hancock said.

Hancock said in his diaries, which he and Oakeshott co-wrote and had published last year, that he resigned as health secretary because his colleagues had failed to openly defend him.

By his own account, he said that Boris Johnson had ensured him he could carry on, despite the fact that he and Coladangelo had been captured kissing in his office in violation of his own social distancing rules.

But after the news spread, Hancock said that he had become “increasingly isolated” politically and had no option but to resign. The messages depict Hancock and his advisors debating how to react to the news while working with No. 10 as a political storm unfolds.

Hancock set up a WhatsApp group named “Crisis Management” with Poole and Coladangelo. They discussed Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, going out to support Hancock in televised interviews, saying he was “probably the best person you could hope would be out this morning” aside from the prime minister.

Hancock and Coladangelo were tasked with “really hard” thought exercises by Poole to determine whether any COVID regulations might have been broken.

Hancock said, “Other than obviously the 1 metre plus, I honestly can’t think of any,” in reference to the social distance rule that states that when two metres are not possible, one should maintain a distance of one metre from others.

He then said that the worst thing he and Coladangelo could be charged with was that they had “kissed before they legalised hugs.”

At the time, Step 2 of the UK’s Coronavirus Regulations made indoor gatherings “of two or more people” illegal.

People should keep a social distance of at least one metre, according to separate government guidance in effect at the time.

The messages also reveal that Hancock instructed Poole to “keep the focus” on Coladangelo’s appointment as a paid adviser rather than whether their embrace violated social distancing laws.

Coladangelo served as a non-executive director for the Department of Health and Social Care while working as a paid advisor for the government.

The messages also show that as Hancock was preparing to resign, he sought guidance from George Osborne, a former mentor and chancellor, regarding a video statement.

Osborne advised him to include a statement of regret to his family and to hold off on disclosing his affection for Coladangelo.

Also Read: Duke and Duchess of Sussex Asked to Vacate UK Home


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