Matt Hancock personally appointed aide Gina Coladangelo to £15k government job
Former health secretary Matt Hancock will be facing fresh questions after No 10 confirmed he personally appointed his aide Gina Coladangelo to her 15K a year government job.
Hancock “directly” appointed aide Gina last year as a non-executive director at the Department of Health – where she sat on its board alongside Chris Whitty.
He later began an affair with Gina and the two were caught kissing in his office on May 6, with the Sun newspaper exposing the affair last week.
Friends of Matt Hancock say the affair began in May.
The Ministerial Code states: “Within departments, the Minister should advise their Permanent Secretary of the interest and responsibilities should be arranged to avoid any conflict of interest.”
No 10 declined to confirm if Matt Hancock delared any kind of relationship with Gina Coladangelo where she was appointed to his department’s board. Yet a spokesman said “I don’t believe” an investigation into whether Matt Hancock broke the Code underway.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “Ministers are entitled to make direct appointments when it comes to non-executive directors. Her appointment followed the correct procedure in this regard.”
Pushed further to confirm Mr Hancock appointed her, he said: “As far as I’m aware, I believe ministers are entitled to make direct appointments, and I believe that was the case in this instance.”
Asked if ministers had “carte blanche” to appoint anyone, he said: “That detail is set out on gov.uk, I don’t have that to hand. Obviously, non-executive directors are appointed to bring experience from all sectors and provide advice to government departments.”
Asked if the “full facts” of her relationship were disclosed as part of her appointment, he replied: “As I said, her appointment followed correct procedure.”
Asked if that procedure would involve declaring a relationship he said: “I think the roles require a declaration of interest.”
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