Matt Hancock took his lover to G7 dinners then hid fact he invited her

Matt Hancock took lover Gina Coladangelo to private dinners with US health secretary at G7 summit – before trying to remove suggestion he invited her, leaked WhatsApp messages reveal

  • Ms Coladangelo attended two private dinners at the invitation of Matt Hancock
  • The dinners took place a month after their affair had begun at Oxford University
  • Mr Hancock then appears to have ensured reference to his invitation was hidden 

Matt Hancock took his lover Gina Coladangelo to private dinners with the US Secretary of State at a G7 summit before later removing the suggestion he invited her, leaked WhatsApp messages have revealed.

The Health Secretary, who was later forced to resign after his affair with Ms Coladangelo emerged, brought his lover, who he had been seeing for a month, to two private dinners with his US counterpart as his guest.

He later tried to remove any suggestion he had invited her along from an official ministerial response to a question asked by Labour MP Ben Bradshaw in Parliament after the details of his affair were exposed.

The changes to the response were made after interference from him and his former political advisor Allan Nixon, messages show, after he was forced to resign from his position.

This is the latest revelation published by The Telegraph after the paper was handed more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages from Mr Hancock’s phone by the journalist to whom he entrusted them in order to ghostwrite his book, Pandemic Diaries.

Matt Hancock took Ms Coladangelo to two private dinners with the US Secretary of State for Health in June 2021 during the G7 summit

Matt Hancock gives a thumbs-up before welcoming his G7 counterparts to Mansfield College, Oxford University, on June 3, 2021

Mr Hancock has accused Isabel Oakeshott of breaking an NDA and betraying the confidence of their relationship – but the journalist maintains she has acted in the public interest.

The former Health Secretary invited Ms Coladangelo, who he had started his affair with a month previously, to two dinners with the US Secretary of State for Health Xavier Becerra, on June 3 and 4 at the University of Oxford, the Telegraph reports.

Nearly a month after the details of his affair were exposed and Mr Hancock had quit, Labour MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw asked the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to account for ‘what role former non-executive director Gina Colangelo played in the G7 Health Minister’s meeting in June 2021.’

Messages published by the paper show the original drafted response from the Department of Health said: ‘Gina Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting at the request of the previous Secretary of State, for the Department of Health and Social Care.’ 

But Mr Nixon sent a copy of the response to Mr Hancock in which he appeared to have crossed this out, instead writing Ms Coladangelo ‘played an advisory role to the Secretary of State at the G7 meeting.’ 

The political advisor had remained in the department to assist new Health Secretary Sajid Javid, yet appears to have edited the response at the request of Mr Hancock.

The former Health Secretary replied: ‘Are you sure that’s the right response?’

He is then said to have suggested changing it to: ‘Gina Coladangelo attended the G7 in her role as a non-executive director of DHSC.’

Ms Coladangelo, who is an old university friend of Mr Hancock, was appointed to the position in the department in September 2020. She resigned shortly after details of the affair were published.

The couple, pictured leaving 10 Downing Street, began their affair after Ms Coladangelo was appointed to the department as a non-executive director

The messages have come to light after they were leaked by journalist Isabel Oakeshott

Read more: Inside Matt Hancock’s 41-hour battle to save his career when photo of ‘a snog and heavy petting’ with aide Gina Coladangelo was made public 

But by the time the response was published on October 28, 2021 – more than three months after the question was asked – all references to Mr Hancock and the DHSC had been removed entirely.

The answer, read by Conservative MP and then-Health Minister Edward Argar, said: ‘Ms Coladangelo attended the G7 Health Minister’s meeting as a part of the UK delegation.

‘All travel and subsistence costs were covered as part of the Department’s overall booking. Ms Coladangelo did not claim any additional expenses.’

Mr Bradshaw had also asked the department to clarify what the cost to the public was of Ms Coladangelo’s attendance at the dinners, and whether she claimed any expenses.

Leaked messages show Mr Hancock had wanted the answer to this to be ‘zero’, but Mr Nixon told him the Permanent Secretary had overruled them. 

Mr Hancock replied it was true she incurred no expenses, adding: ‘This will be another s*** show if it goes wrong.’

Mr Nixon replied: ‘I know. Hence flagging. Leave with me.’ 

The messages revealed on Sunday follow a release earlier this week which showed the couple’s reaction to their affair becoming public knowledge.

CCTV images of the former Health Secretary and his now-girlfriend in an intimate embrace were published in June 2021, prompting a panicked response – from shock at the leak, to brainstorming how to ride out the storm, to informing the Prime Minister and, afterwards, his wife.

CCTV images of the former Health Secretary and his now-girlfriend in an intimate embrace were published in June 2021

Ms Coladangelo travelled to Australia in 2022 to welcome Mr Hancock out from the I’m A Celeb jungle

As the news of his affair broke, Mr Hancock asked the Department of Health’s media advisor Damon Poole ‘how bad’ the pictures were, to which Mr Poole said: ‘It’s a snog and heavy petting.’ 

The then Health Secretary replied: ‘How the f*** did anyone photograph that?’ 

The messages, which were revealed by The Telegraph on Friday, showed Mr Hancock’s affair started on May 4, and the CCTV images were from two days later.

At the time, indoor gatherings of two or more people were banned and guidance instructed people to remain at least one metre apart from one another.

Mr Hancock reportedly phoned Boris Johnson and informed him of the affair before he went home to tell his wife and children.

Other messages were then sent in a group chat called ‘Crisis Management’ with him, Ms Coladangelo and media advisor Damon Poole.

After the Sun had published the story, Mr Poole described whoever provided the paper with the images as a ‘c***’.

In one WhatsApp message, Mr Hancock tells his media advisor: ‘I could apologise for the whole thing – I have after all cheated on my wife.’ 

He also told the media advisor: ‘WE DIDN’T BREAK THE F***ING LAW OK’. 

The former Health Secretary split from his wife as the news of the affair broke, leaving his family home and his children to stay elsewhere.

He has since been pictured on many occasions with his girlfriend, most prominently on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here when Ms Coladangelo flew to Australia to meet him as he came out of the jungle.

Texts with Mr Nixon show the pair desperately trying to draw up a list of MPs who have given ‘warm words’ and who might be prepared to Tweet in Mr Hancock’s defence after the affair was revealed. 

Representatives for Matt Hancock have been contacted for comment. 

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