Leaked Matt Hancock messages show minute he found out about Gina Coladangelo kiss being publicised
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Leaked WhatsApp messages between Matt Hancock and a special adviser reveal the moment the former health secretary learned he'd been caught cheating on his wife.
The leaked exchange is among 100,000 messages Oakeshott shared with The Daily Telegraph after she began collaborating with Hancock on his memoir.
In the texts, sent while he waited for The Sun to publish the pictures in June 2021, Hancock asked a special adviser: "How bad are the pics?"
"It's a snog and heavy petting," the advisor, Damon Poole, replied. More than most people want to see from Hancock, especially during a time when members of the public were supposed to be social distancing.
The images had been taken in May 2021, when the UK was in Step 2 of government-imposed coronavirus rules which criminalised indoor gatherings 'of two or more people'.
People were only allowed to gather indoors together when 'reasonably necessary', for example for 'work purposes or for the provision of voluntary of charitable services', and those who did gather in the same area were advised to stay away from each other at a distance of at least one metre.
Having been caught breaching all of these rules, the former health secretary wrote: "How the f*ck did anyone photograph that?”
Hancock also spoke with Coladangelo after being made aware of a video of them together which had been obtained by The Sun.
“OMFG,” Coladangelo wrote, while Hancock said: "Crikey. Not sure there’s much news value in that and I can’t say it’s very enjoyable viewing.”
The WhatsApp messages also reveal Hancock and his advisers discussing between themselves and liaising with Number 10 on how they should respond to the story, and show Hancock asking ex-chancellor George Osborne for advice as he prepared to resign.
In diaries published last year, Hancock said he resigned as health secretary after colleagues failed to defend him from the backlash he received after the leak.
He said he phoned then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson to inform him of the affair and claimed the PM had assured him he he could carry on working, but that he found himself 'increasingly isolated' politically and was left with no choice but to quit.
Hancock resigned as health secretary just after the images were leaked in June 2021.