Matt Hancock Thinks He's Had 'A Bucket Of S**t Poured Over My Head'

Ex-health secretary makes plea for sympathy as he blames his "affaire de coeur" with Gina Coladangelo for poor political judgment.
Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo in 2019.
Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo in 2019.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Matt Hancock has said his affair with Gina Coladangelo has led to the former health secretary having “an absolute bucket of shit poured over my head”.

In an interview with The Mail+ to coincide with his return from the I’m A Celebrity jungle, he renewed his pleas for “forgiveness” as he admitted his relationship with his assistant in the midst of the Covid pandemic was a “failure of leadership”.

The ex-minister was forced to quit last year after video footage emerged of them kissing in his office in breach of social distancing rules he had set.

He told the publication they had fallen “deeply” in love, and as a result his “political judgment was off”.

“I want forgiveness for the mistake I made, the failure of leadership at the end of the pandemic when I fell in love with Gina and I broke the guidance that I’d signed off,” he said.

“I want forgiveness for the human error I made… but I’m not asking for forgiveness for how I handled the pandemic.

“I woke up every single morning determined to do the very best I could in the most impossible circumstances until I needed to go to bed at night. I did that for 18 months.

“There is a good, honest explanation for every single decision I made, whether it turned out to be right or not.”

The Sun newspaper with the story about Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo.
The Sun newspaper with the story about Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo.
Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images via Getty Images

Hancock, who like Coladangelo, was married with three children when they embarked on their affair, said he was not seeking forgiveness for falling in love with her “because I love her very deeply”.

“We realised what was happening was of huge consequence that would last for the rest of our lives but… this was an affaire de coeur and therefore my political judgment was off,” he said.

He said that he had faced “horrific” abuse after he announced that he was appearing on the reality TV show while still an MP.

“It’s been absolutely horrific, especially for Gina,” he said. “I love that woman and what does she get out of it? All she gets is me.”

He added: “I’ve had an absolute bucket of shit poured over my head. The even bigger bucket of shit has been poured over Gina’s.

“She’s given up everything other than her children and, just when she was putting her life back together, she lost an unpaid, ­positive charity role because I was going on I’m A Celebrity.”

He said that each day the public voted for him to remain he was “really pleased” but missed his children “desperately” and felt “guilty” about being away from his Coladangelo.

He added: “I knew it was a risk the whip would be suspended – after all that is the precedent (when Tory MP Nadine Dorries went into the jungle) – but I didn’t expect it and went out of my way to go and see the Chief Whip before coming here.

“I haven’t seen everything Rishi said, but I do agree that public service is a noble profession.

“I think it’s vital MPs connect with the electorate, including the large swathes of people — especially younger people — who don’t ­connect through the traditional political media.”

The interview comes as Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries: The Inside Story Of Britain’s Battle Against Covid, are serialised in the Daily Mail and The Mail+.

They were released as he returned to Westminster for the first time following his controversial appearance on the ITV show.


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