Matt Hancock left the jungle in third place last night, having been defeated by Owen Warner from Hollyoaks and by the ultimate victor, Lioness Jill Scott. The former Health Secretary had one last opportunity to get stuck in when he was submerged for 10 minutes in the company of eels, yabbies, water spiders and sociable toads. After a slap-up, three-course meal Hancock was evicted after 21 days in the jungle. Reunited with Gina Coladangelo on the rope bridge, he recreated the excruciating embrace we’re all familiar with…
This morning, his team is having to firefight allegations from The Sun that he’s planning on leaving politics to pursue celebritydom. The paper’s morning splash reports that Gina contacted “PR pal Mayah Riaz” last week to discuss “a change of career for him… They’re aware they need to act fast and capitalise on the huge interest in him post-jungle.” In response his team shot out a denial:
A spokesperson for Matt Hancock said: Matt has no intention of standing down or stepping away from politics and there has been no conversation with Mayah Riaz or any other PR.
They added: “Gina hasn’t even heard of Mayah Riaz”.
For good measure, Guido asked his office if they could provide a precise date when he’d be back. Apparently, it’s up in the air at the moment. Though his dyslexia bill – of which he made no mention during his stint in the jungle – is up for its second reading on Friday…
Hancock survives a second elimination. Until tonight…
The Information Commissioner’s Office closed their investigation into the Department for Health CCTV leak that saw Hancock’s snog with then-aide Gina Coladangelo splashed on the front page of The Sun. The ICO announced this afternoon that their investigation had found “insufficient evidence to prosecute two people suspected of unlawfully obtaining and disclosing CCTV footage from the Department for Health and Social Care”. They shouldn’t have been investigating anyway…
“Forensic analysis revealed that the leaked images were most likely obtained by someone recording the CCTV footage screens with a mobile phone.
Six phones retrieved during the execution of search warrants did not contain the relevant CCTV footage. After taking legal advice, the ICO concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with criminal offences under the Data Protection Act 2018.
The ICO has therefore closed its criminal investigation.”
The Sun’s Harry Cole had previously accused the ICO investigation of being a further move along the “systematic decay of freedom of the press”. All kiss, no tell…
Matt Hancock has finally spoken out about his affair with Gina Coladangelo, and it’s not exactly an easy watch. Appearing on The Diary of a CEO podcast with Stephen Bartlett, Hancock claimed he “fell in love” with Coladangelo “quite quickly” – something which was, apparently, “completely outside of [his] control”. That’s the power of love…
Inevitably Hancock was uncomfortable with the topic, clearly unhappy at Bartlett referring to the affair as “casual sex”. He repeatedly asks Bartlett to restart the segment by asking the questions “in a little bit more respectful way”, and seems to think the moment would be edited out of the final interview. It wasn’t.
Finally regaining his composure, Hancock says:
“They weren’t actually rules. They weren’t the law. But that’s not the point. The point is they were the guidelines that I’d been proposing. And that happened because I fell in love with somebody…”
Watch at your own discretion…
Matt Hancock has written to IPSO demanding they protect his children by stopping the publishing of the picture of him and Gina Coladangelo snogging in his Ministerial office:
I am writing to ask your help to protect my children, following widespread media coverage of my personal life in the last few months.
Now, more than three months after my resignation as Secretary of State, there is no longer any public interest whatsoever in any publication about my private life, or the private life of my partner Gina Coladangelo or either of our families. While a perfectly reasonable case could have been made while I was in Government, there is clearly now no public interest case for invasion of our privacy. I am grateful to the many publications that no longer carry such inappropriate material.
Over the past two days pictures have been published of Gina and I on a private visit abroad. There was no public interest case in doing so. We have also been approached by members of the press relating to our private lives.
Specifically, there is no public interest justification for continued publication of the photograph and video first published that led to my resignation. The continued publication of this picture and video is causing significant harm to our children.
I would therefore request that all media outlets:
– cease publication of any material relating to our private lives, whether photographic or written
– cease publication of the past photograph and video
None of the parties with any knowledge of our private lives will be commenting to the media on these matters in the foreseeable future.
I would be grateful if you could alert IPSO members to our very clear position on this matter, and reinforce the importance of your members’ adherence to the Editors’ Code.
That horse has bolted through the office doorway. As for the video of Matt and Gina in Split which was circulating widely on social media after a holidaying Briton spotted them and whipped their smartphone out, asking IPSO to intervene would not make any difference. More importantly, as Matt told parliament after the Leveson Inquiry, when he was the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:
“Over many centuries in Britain, our press has held the powerful to account and been free to report and investigate without fear or favour. These principles underpin our democracy and are integral to our freedom as a nation.”
The harm done to his children was, as he must know in his heart, a consequence of his own actions. The pictorial reminder disappearing from the papers won’t change that…