The British health secretary has been caught red-handed after photos of him snogging an aide in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with no respect for his own social distancing rules, go viral.
In a story on Friday morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s month of woe was compounded when The Sun published images taken from a CCTV camera of the minister snogging aide Gina Coladangelo.
The images, reportedly from May, show Hancock getting up close and personal with Coladangelo; his hands can be seen holding her backside as they make out in what is supposedly the Department of Health’s London HQ during office hours.
The story has engendered a fierce reaction, with Britain’s social media elite all jumping to condemn the minister for his hypocrisy, highlighting Hancock’s disregard for his own rules on social distancing at a time when the UK was facing the new Delta Covid-19 strain originating in India. Journo-cum-TV star Piers Morgan was among the first to bash the minister’s double standards.
At the time he was ordering the British people not to hug anyone from other households… 👇 pic.twitter.com/DBM6qmZCsB
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 25, 2021
Well-known barrister Jo Maugham was one of many who raised Hancock’s “extraordinary” hypocrisy within a legal context, referencing the minister’s own guidance for office workers.
Extraordinary that, of all people, the Health Secretary should be issuing this guidance for office workers – whilst having an adulterous affair in the office with his colleague. What hypocrites they are. pic.twitter.com/CtrzDo03TU
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) June 25, 2021
Another human rights barrister, Adam Wagner, added that private indoor meetings between people who do not live together were unlawful for most of the past year.
The Sun photo was apparently taken on 3 May, when lockdown was in Step 2.
Gatherings of 2 or more indoors were illegal except for permitted purposes
One purpose was "work" which would cover being together at work but arguably not for this purpose https://t.co/CqXNPxvk2b
— Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) June 25, 2021
Apart from the legal eagles, Hancock’s actions clearly touched a nerve with some. One person stated that while the rest of the country was told not to hug, forgo seeing our lovers, and forget relationships, the minister of health was getting personal with an aide in Whitehall.
“Hands, face, space, fresh air, can’t see you adhering to your own Covid19 policies here, mate,” one person wrote.
Others were keen to make fun of Hancock’s misdemeanour. Journalist Paul Waugh joked: “Parliamentary source: ‘Matt Hancock’s new guidance: Hands. Face. Arse,’” while others questioned whether the snog was in the national interest – “perhaps his affair is a ‘pilot event?’”
The story has also provided material for a series of viral memes as Hancock trends on social media. One person posted images of the minister’s supposedly ‘fake’ crying on TV after the first Covid-19 doses were administered, asking if this is how he’ll apologise to his wife?
— C. Doherty (@CDohertyDerry) June 25, 2021
Hancock has also been under fire from former No. 10 aide Dominic Cummings in recent weeks. In leaked messages between Cummings and PM Boris Johnson, the health secretary was described as ‘F**king hopeless’. Last year, Hancock supported government Covid-19 advisor Professor Neil Ferguson’s decision to resign from his role after meeting his married lover during the first lockdown.
RT with additional input by GVS News Desk