Politics latest news: Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo's relationship under scrutiny

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Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street with aide Gina Coladangelo - Getty
Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street with aide Gina Coladangelo - Getty

Matt Hancock resigned as Health Secretary and Gina Coladangelo is quitting her job as a non-executive director for the Department of Health and Social Care after pictures emerged of the pair embracing in a breach of social distancing guidance.

The saga has reignited concerns about the appointment of Mrs Coladangelo, a friend of Mr Hancock from Oxford University, in the first place.

Labour has demanded the Department of Health's most senior official release all documents relating to the recruitment of Mrs Coladangelo to a £15,000-a-year position supposedly holding the former Health Secretary to account.

And the pair’s relationship is facing further scrutiny over two Department for Health and Social Care contracts awarded during Mr Hancock’s tenure as Health Secretary.

Justin Madders, Labour’s shadow health minister, has called for further investigations into the contracts. Mr Madders said: “Each new day seems to bring a new level of cronyism and sleaze for this government.

“Anyone who has a passing connection to the Health Secretary or the Conservative Party can seemingly bag themselves an NHS contract."

​​Follow the latest updates below.

05:57 AM

Doctor expresses anger at hypocrisy but MP stands by 'friend'

05:54 AM

The diverse Cabinet line up

05:01 AM

Covid, pay rises and social care to greet Javid

Sajid Javid's previous Government roles - that of chancellor and before the home secretary - were great offices of state, traditionally thought of as more prestigious than his new job as Health Secretary.

But since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, the profile of the person tasked with keeping the nation healthy has been shot to the top of the agenda.

Matt Hancock was a regular face at press briefings and in the Commons, giving updates to the nation on the coronavirus.

But it is not only the pandemic Mr Javid will have to deal with, his in-tray will be full of challenges for the health and social care sector, some of which predate Covid-19 and others caused by it.

The most immediate test for Mr Javid will be continuing the country's progress in lifting lockdown measures and vaccinating the rest of the population.

Read more: Javid to replace Hancock as new Health Secretary

04:25 AM

Comment: Hancock's behaviour was an insult- he had to go

I'm not looking for sympathy when I tell you that, for much of the past year, I have not been able to hug my kids. I have leukaemia, and as such did not need to be convinced of the need for shielding back when Covid-19 was raging and we had no means of combatting it other than lockdown.

I don’t want sympathy because I know I was far from alone. Well over a million people shielded – indeed, some are still doing so because they are understandably nervous about the delta variant. And almost everyone in the country had their own, private, torment of some sort. So we really were in it together.

No, I tell you my story only so you can get some understanding of the rage that had seethed inside me since Friday morning, when the news of Matt Hancock’s behaviour broke, and why I am so delighted that he has now resigned.

Read Stephen Pollard's opinion piece in full

03:23 AM

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