March 19, 2023

Boris Johnson accepts Matt Hancock’s apology for breaching social distancing rules and ‘considers matter closed’ – live

PM stands by Matt Hancock, who says he will stay on as health secretary after...

PM stands by Matt Hancock, who says he will stay on as health secretary after photos emerge of him kissing adviser Gina Coladangelo

  • Matt Hancock apologises after photos show him kissing aide
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2.38pm BST

Matt Hancock was chief of staff to George Osborne when the Conservatives were in opposition, before entering parliament in 2010 as the MP for West Suffolk, and is a rare cabinet hangover from the Cameron set.

Unlike Cameron and Osborne, Hancock, still just 42, has remained in Westminster as the Brexit referendum has sent shock waves through British politics over the past five years.

Related: Matt Hancock: the Teflon-coated survivor with flexible politics

2.31pm BST

You can listen to Gina Coladangelo talking about Matt Hancock on a BBC Radio 4 Profile programme from last year.

Introduced as a “close friend of more than 20 years”, she is quoted as saying:

We met at the student radio station Oxygen FM. I read the news, and Matt read the sport. I’ve always joked with him that he did the sport because he wasn’t good enough to do the news. But I think it gave him a bit of an early heads up into aggressive questioning from journalists and hacks.

He got one of these special tickets to go and sit in the press box with all the other serious journalists, I should say at Twickenham to watch a big match I think it was Australia, England, and actually overslept and hot-footed it to the train but didn’t make it back to Twickenham in time from Oxford so had to get off the train at Reading, find a pub, watch the first half in the pub and then go to a phone box outside and report in, so he told a white lie, pretended he was at Twickenham watching the rugby when in fact he was in a pub in Reading – successfully nobody ever found out.

His parents separated when he was very young, but they both happily remarried and I think his mother in particular was a very strong influence on him. She really was the brains behind their family business which they started in their kitchen at home. [It involved] the first bit of software that if you put it into an internet browser would help you to find a postcode, you put a postcode in it would give you your address. It was obviously a breakthrough technology back then. I think he learnt a lot from growing up with that business as a boy.

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