Matt Hancock took his mistress to private dinners with the US health secretary, then changed the minister’s response to remove the suggestions he invited her, leaked news has revealed.
The latest discovery from more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages leaked to the Telegraph shows a conversation between Mr Hancock’s former political adviser Allan Nixon and the former health secretary.
Gina Coladangelo who Mr. Hancock had an affair, attended two dinners with him at the G7 Health Ministers Summit held in Oxford about a month after their relationship began.
She was appointed non-executive director of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSC) in September 2020, eight months before the couple began dating in early May 2021.
Journalist Isabel Oakeshott said she released the messages in the interest of “the public interest” after Mr Hancock handed them to her while she was helping him write the book Pandemic Diaries.
The latest news, revealed on Sunday, shows Mrs. Coladangelo was invited to lunch as Mr. Hancock’s guest with Xavier Becerra, the US Secretary of Health, held on June 3 and 4 at Mansfield College, Oxford University.
After Mr Hancock was forced to resign over an affair in late June 2021, when CCTV footage of them kissing in his office was released, Labor MP Ben Bradshaw asked what role Ms Coladangelo played at the G7 meeting and what expenses she claimed.
Allan Nixon, Mr. Hancock’s former political adviser who stayed with the DHSC to help Sajid Javid take power, had a WhatsApp chat with Mr. Hancock suggesting how he should answer the question.
Read more: How Hancock’s WhatsApp messages were leaked – and what is an NDA?
It seemed that during the first exchange, Mr. Nixon had scribbled a printed answer and suggested another in a notebook.
The original suggested response was “Gina Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Ministers meeting at the request of the previous Secretary of State in the Department of Health and Human Services.”
But Nixon wrote that it should be changed to: “Gina Coladangelo played an advisory role to the Secretary of State at the G7 meeting.”
Mr. Hancock then suggested another version that erased all ties to him: “Gina Coladangelo attended the G7 as a non-executive director of the DHSC.”
In the final response, published on October 28, 2021, all references to Mr. Hancock’s name or DHSC have been removed.
Gina Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Ministers meeting as part of the UK delegation.
Hancock told associates he wanted to “scare everyone away” on COVID
Leaked news shows Hancock’s reaction to a videotaped “kissing” with a sidekick
In response to a question about spending, Mr. Hancock wanted it to say “zero”, but Mr. Nixon said this was rejected by Sir Chris Wormald, the permanent secretary of the DHSC.
Mr Hancock said it was true she had not incurred any costs and warned: “It’s going to be another crappy show if it goes wrong.”
The final reply was: “All travel and subsistence expenses were covered by the Department’s general booking. Mrs. Coladangelo did not ask for any additional expenses.
Sky News understands that Matt Hancock believes amendments to parliamentary questions are normal and ministers do it often.
Sources close to him said it was outrageous to suggest he had done anything wrong, and the response was reasonable and thorough.
WhatsApp messages from the head of the civil service, Simon Case, who was cabinet secretary under Mr Johnson, were also published on Sunday.
He told Mr Hancock that in October 2020, as the government expanded testing, he had to be told by “trusted local figures, not people distrusted nationally, such as the Prime Minister” to self-isolate.
Earlier this week, the Telegraph published news showing Hancock and others discussing how to use the Kent COVID variant to scare the public into complying with the rules in December 2020.
Mr Hancock told his colleagues he wanted to “scare everyone away” to ensure compliance with the restrictions.
Another set of news has been revealed this week, showing Mr Hancock’s former adviser named as Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings is a “fucking piece of shit”.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin made this remark in March 2021 after Mr. Cummings described the DHSC as “a smoking ruin” by the pandemic during a parliamentary committee hearing.
He also called him a “psychotherapist,” then quickly corrected the typo to “Psychopath.”
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