So Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary and government minister, has had to resign.
During his chaotic handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, even some Conservatives in his own party criticised him. It emerged that he had shares in various pharmaceutical companies, and was awarding contracts to supply PPE to companies owned by his friends.
The aborted Test and Trace scheme wasted billions of pounds of public money, and there is speculation that he deliberately held back on adequate support for Care Homes, hoping that the virus would kill off a significant portion of the elderly.
He did not support early vaccination for younger people with disabilities or learning difficulties, but was an advocate of the ‘herd immunity’ idea that probably cost the lives of thousands of people.
Yet none of this forced his resignation.
He continued to enjoy the unqualified support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and was frequently praised by his Cabinet colleagues in government for his ‘hard work and dedication’.
His downfall came, as it so often does, because of his attraction to a female adviser that he employed. An old friend from his university days, this woman was employed as an independent adviser at a time when the Civil Service had many well-qualfied and salaried advisers already in place capable of doing her job.
Gina Coladangelo was already a millionaire when employed in that unnecessary role, and married to a multi-millionaire retail shop magnate. Hancock employed her to work for just 20 days in one year, at a fee of £15,000. That’s £750 a day. Not a bad pay rate at all, but she really didn’t need the money.
The real reason was to get her close to him. Very close. He spent public money so he could have sex with a woman he knew.
Unable to keep his hands off his lover during working hours, he was caught on camera kissing and fondling her. Nobody cared that they were having an affair outside of their marriages. What upset everyone was that this was at a time when grandparents were not allowed to hug their grandchildren, and people were dying alone, deprived of the last embrace of a loved one. Families were restricted to meeting in low numbers, and only ouside in a garden, and relatives were forbidden from visiting residents of Old People’s Homes.
Yet the smugly entitled government minister was happy to cuddle up to an ’employee’ who was not in his social bubble, and do a lot more than shake hands with her, or bump elbows.
Even faced with this uproar, he only managed a feeble apology, and asked that his private life be his own affair. But the media and the public were not having it, and the uproar continued, despite Boris standing by the philanderer. That left him with no alternative but to resign.