MATT Hancock is said to be "serious" about lover Gina Coladangelo with the couple "likely to set up home together" despite their romance only starting in May.
The claims come as he left both his wife and job after pictures emerged of him kissing and cuddling the aide in a breach of coronavirus restrictions.
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The Health Secretary quit his ministerial role and apologised to his family after the scandal was revealed by The Sun.
He told wife Martha he was leaving her on the night his affair was first revealed, it was reported.
According to The Sunday Times, she had no idea what was going on until he broke the news and announced their marriage was over.
Now a friend of Mr Hancock has revealed: “Matt and Gina are in love" adding the relationship started in May "but it is serious.”
A friend told The Sunday Times: "“It is a love match. They’re setting up home.”
It comes as…
- Matt Hancock announced he was resigning almost 48 hours after his affair with his aide was exposed
- The Health Secretary told his wife he was leaving her as the affair was revealed
- Gina Coladangelo has left her position on the Department of Health board after the affair with Hancock
- Read Matt Hancock's resignation letter in full
- Boris Johnson told Hancock 'you should be proud of what you've achieved' as he accepted his resignation
- Sajid Javid will be the new Health Secretary
Others said the affair began up to six months ago and some even gently questioned the nature of their relationship in 2019, reports the Mail on Sunday.
Maxie Allen – programme co-ordinator at university radio station Oxygen where Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo met – said he "always had a crush on her".
However, reports insist Mr Hancock's wife Martha thought nothing was going on.
Allies insist the relationship was “more than a fling” and that he hadbecome emotionally attached to her.
He has, however, reportedly told the PM the affair only began last month.
Hancock was recorded kissing his aide on May 6 – while hugging was still banned as part of pandemic restrictions.
Just ten days later, the hypocritical politician warned the country we mustn't cuddle our loved ones.
Gina is married to millionaire entrepreneur Oliver Tress, 54, who founded the High Street fashion and lifestyle chain Oliver Bonas.
They live in a £4 million, six-bedroom Edwardian home.
A friend of Mr Tress told the Mail on Sunday: "I imagine he is just falling apart over this.
"He had no idea that this was happening. He trusted them both."
Observers were quick to point out that Hancock did not specifically mention his wife in his resignation letter to the Prime Minister.
He wrote: "I am writing to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. We have worked so hard as a country to fight the pandemic.
"The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis.
"I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need to be with my children at this time.
"We owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance."
A Downing Street source said: "Boris accepted the resignation reluctantly. This was very much Matt’s decision."
CCTV images showed Hancock passionately kissing his aide – with the dad-of-three later shamelessly asking for "privacy on this personal matter".
And a source told The Sun the couple were "at it again" as recently as last week, adding: "This pandemic is far from over and he was back in there with her and their hands were all over each other – it's so brazen."
Hancock reportedly raced home after being told about The Sun's startling front page revelations.
He then delivered the bombshell news to Martha, who believed that their marriage had until that moment been "happy and stable".
Ms Coladangelo, who has been a close friend of the former cabinet minister sinceuniversity, was appointed as a non-executive director at the Department of Health and Social Care last year.
Former Chancellor and Home Secretary Sajid Javid will replace Matt Hancock as Health Secretary, Downing Street announced tonight.
The highly-experienced politician has been described as a "ready made" minister as Boris Johnson's government battles the pandemic.
As well as overseeing the Government's response to Covid-19, he will be tasked with devising reforms to the funding and provision of social care.
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