October 21, 2021

Spif Panel

Think Shopping & Women

Matt Hancock’s aide and ‘lover’ Gina Coladangelo is wife of founder of Oliver Bonas

11 min read

The woman Matt Hancock has been allegedly having an affair with attended the University of Oxford in the 1990s at the same time as the Health Secretary and his wife Martha, it emerged today.  

Gina Coladangelo, 43, knows the Health Secretary from Oxford, where they both worked on the student radio station and studied politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) – and where he also met his osteopath wife, 44.

Ms Coladangelo today remains Facebook friends with Mr Hancock’s wife – with whom he has two sons and a daughter – after they both graduated from the university at around the same time. However, it is not known if Ms Coladangelo and Mrs Hancock knew each other there.

They all reside in London, with Ms Coladangelo living with her multi-millionaire fashion tycoon husband Oliver Tress, founder of fashion chain Oliver Bonas, and their three children in a £4million Wandsworth home; while the Hancocks live six miles away in Queen’s Park.    

Mr Hancock, 42, hired Ms Coladangelo as a non-executive director at the Department of Health last September, and the CCTV images of them kissing in the departmental building were allegedly taken on May 6.

The mother of three is a major shareholder – as well as director – of the lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, where she worked from 2002 until June 2014. She studied PPE at Oxford between 1995 and 1998, like Mr Hancock.  

Mr Hancock met Ms Coladangelo when they worked on Oxford student radio together in the 1990s. He was a minority sports reporter on Oxygen FM and they would have socialised together at Exeter College, Oxford.

In April 2020, Ms Coladangelo recalled their student radio days at Oxford in a programme on BBC Radio 4, saying: ‘I read the news and Matt read the sport. I’ve always joked with him that he did the sport because he wasn’t good enough to do the news, but I think it gave him a bit of an early heads up into aggressive questioning from journalists and hacks.’

Ms Coladangelo was discussing his unorthodox approach to broadcasting when he was a sports correspondent in an interview with Mark Coles on ‘Profile on Matt Hancock’. She said: ‘He got one of these special tickets to go and sit in the press box with all these other serious journalists at Twickenham to watch a big match.

‘I think it was Australia playing England, and he actually overslept in his flat and hotfooted it to the train station but didn’t make it to Twickenham from Oxford in time. So he had to get off the train In Reading, find a pub, watch the first half in a pub and go to a phone box outside and report in. So he told a white lie, he pretended he was at Twickenham watching the rugby when he was in fact in a pub in Reading. Successfully, nobody ever found out.’

She was described as Mr Hancock’s ‘closest friend’ from Oxford when he appointed her as an unpaid adviser last year. Mr Hancock has spoken fondly of his days working alongside her on the now-defunct radio station.

As newly appointed Minister for Digital and Culture in 2016, he said: ‘I think I somehow knew, when as a student I worked as minority sports correspondent for Oxygen 107.9 FM, that one day I’d become Minister for radio.’ 

Mr Hancock was described as an ‘obscure figure’ at the radio station where he presented bulletins on rowing, fencing and other minority sports, and the pair also worked there with BBC tennis commentator Gigi Salmon.

A former colleague said today: ‘He volunteered there but he didn’t make much of a name for himself. Gina was the opposite, she was one of the stars of the show. She was quite glamorous and good looking – she had lots of attention from the boys. She also did a bit of sports presenting with Hancock, they would have worked together.’

The Hancocks, Gina Coladangelo and Oliver Tress: Timeline reveals how all four link together 

  • 1995: Matt Hancock starts studying PPE at the same time as Gina Coladangelo at Oxford University, where he also meets his future wife Martha Millar
  • 1998: Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo graduate from Oxford, where they also worked on student radio
  • 2006: Matt Hancock marries Martha Millar
  • 2002: Gina Coladangelo starts working at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, where she stays until 2014
  • 2004: Gina Coladangelo marries London property lawyer Glynn Gibb but their union is short-lived 
  • 2009 : Oliver Tress and Gina Coladangelo are believed to have married at some point in this year
  • 2014: Gina Coladangelo starts working as marketing and communications director at Oliver Bonas
  • 2018: Matt Hancock becomes Health Secretary
  • September 2020: Gina Coladangelo is hired by Matt Hancock as a non-executive director at the Department of Health
  • May 6, 2021: Matt Hancock is caught on CCTV kissing Gina Coladangelo 

Ms Coladangelo went on to marry Mr Tress, 53, who is founder of Oliver Bonas, named after his ex-girlfriend Anna who is cousin of Prince Harry’s former partner Cressida Bonas. Ms Coladangelo has worked for her husband’s company as its communications director for the past seven years. 

It is not known exactly when Ms Coladangelo and Mr Tress wed, although Companies House documents show that she changed her surname to Tress in November 2009 – suggesting that they got married that year. 

Mr Tress founded Oliver Bonas in London in 1993 with handbags and jewellery he had brought from Hong Kong where his parents lived, and his wife began working there in June 2014 after 11 years at Luther Pendragon. 

They live together in a five-bedroom detached property believed to be worth around £4million in Wandsworth, South West London, on a quiet tree-lined street with residents-only parking bays that is popular with families.

Many of the cars parked in the street – which is a 20-minute drive away from Central London – are top-of-the range BMW 4x4s and Volvos. Neighbours of Ms Coladangelo remained tight lipped today and refused to comment.

But one visiting workman who left a neighbouring home was unimpressed by Mr Hancock. He said: ‘The guy had been caught bang to rights on film. He will have to do some smart talking to get out of that one with the wife.’

Ms Coladangelo has been spotted leaving Downing Street with the Health Secretary on a number of occasions.  A source told the Sunday Times last year: ‘Before Matt does anything big, he’ll speak to Gina. She knows everything.’

But her new role was not made public despite her getting access to £15,000 from the taxpayer. Asked about her appointment, a Downing Street spokesman said today: ‘The appointment followed all the correct procedures.’

Ms Coladangelo was previously married to London property lawyer Glynn Gibb, 46, who declined to comment today. Mr Gibb was working for one of London’s top real estate firms when he met and married her in 2004.

But the marriage was short-lived and the pair divorced. Mr Gibb is described on LinkedIn as ‘a senior property professional with over 23 years’ sales, marketing and consultation experience’. The director of Fulham property firm Chestertons, who is now married to Samantha Gibb, told MailOnline today: ‘I have no comment to make.’

Gina Coladangelo works as communications director for Oliver Bonas which was founded by her husband Oliver Tress (pictured together in London’s Belgravia in 2014) – while also being Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s closest aide

Mr Hancock's kiss with Ms Coladangelo is alleged to have taken place in the corridor outside his office at the Department for Health's headquarters in central London at around 3pm on May 6 this year

Mr Hancock’s kiss with Ms Coladangelo is alleged to have taken place in the corridor outside his office at the Department for Health’s headquarters in central London at around 3pm on May 6 this year 

Gina Coladangelo and illustrator Aysha Awwad at the V&A Summer Party at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2019

Gina Coladangelo, pictured for a Daily Mail feature in 2012

Gina Coladangelo – left, with illustrator Aysha Awwad at the V&A Summer Party at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2019 and, right, pictured in a feature for the Mail in 2012 in which she talked about returning to work while being a mother

Mr and Mrs Hancock are seen in 2010 when he was Conservative candidate for West Suffolk

Matt Hancock and his wife Martha Hancock are seen in 2010 when he was Conservative candidate for West Suffolk

Matt Hancock arrives at the BBC studios in London with his senior aide Gina Coladangelo in July last year

Matt Hancock arrives at the BBC studios in London with his senior aide Gina Coladangelo in July last year

Ms Coladangelo was previously married to London property lawyer Glynn Gibb (pictured with his new wife Samantha Gibb)

Ms Coladangelo was previously married to London property lawyer Glynn Gibb (pictured with his new wife Samantha Gibb) 

She was an unpaid adviser for Mr Hancock but claims of ‘chumocracy’ emerged in November when it was revealed she was attending confidential meetings.

Ms Coladangelo was made a non-executive director at the Department for Health in September. She shows off the role on her LinkedIn page and has to ‘oversee and monitor performance’.

Ms Coladangelo is pictured in her LinkedIn profile photo

Ms Coladangelo is pictured in her LinkedIn profile photo

She says: ‘I have over twenty years’ experience in business management and marketing and communications, with a focus on retail, healthcare, the third sector and energy.

‘Marketing expertise across media relations, consumer campaigns, social media, digital strategy, strategic collaborations, internal communications, issues management and public affairs.’

But her new role was not made public despite her getting access to £15,000 from the taxpayer. 

While working as Head of Marketing at Oliver Bonas, Ms Coladangelo contributed to a post on International Women’s Day.

She wrote: ‘You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Decide what you want and don’t want – and stick to it. It is up to you to live a life you love.’

Ms Coladangelo has access to the Houses of Parliament due to gaining a pass in April and is also said to be bound by the Official Secrets Act. 

The pass reportedly has her husband’s surname on it, but she does not use it for her work. House of Lords peer Lord Bethell sponsored her for the pass.

Gina Coladangelo and her husband Oliver Tress live in this property in Wandsworth, South West London

Gina Coladangelo and her husband Oliver Tress live in this property in Wandsworth, South West London

Ms Coladangelo is pictured (left) with Scottish radio and television presenter Jenni Falconer (right) in September 2019

Ms Coladangelo is pictured (left) with Scottish radio and television presenter Jenni Falconer (right) in September 2019

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is pictured in talks with Gina Coladangelo (right) and other aides in February this year

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is pictured in talks with Gina Coladangelo (right) and other aides in February this year

(From left) Jules Somerset Webb, Oliver Tress, Tabitha Webb and Gina Coladangelo at Ms Webb's store in Belgravia in 2014

(From left) Jules Somerset Webb, Oliver Tress, Tabitha Webb and Gina Coladangelo at Ms Webb’s store in Belgravia in 2014

Away from work, Ms Coladangelo has three children. In 2012 she told the Daily Mail how she had returned to work while being a mother.

Matt Hancock claims he broke social distancing ‘guidance’ in kissing aide 

Matt Hancock has apologised for breaking social distancing guidance when kissing his aide, even though the law at the time suggests such gatherings were not allowed.

The Health Secretary was pictured embracing his aide Gina Coladangelo on May 6 in what appears to be CCTV footage from inside the Department for Health and Social Care.

Legislation in place at the time stated that ‘no person may participate in a gathering’ that ‘consists of two or more people… and takes place indoors.’

The only exception to this rule was for ‘work purposes or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services’.

It is unclear whether Mr Hancock believes his embrace was part of a work meeting.

Guidance in place until May 17 also said people should continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble.

She paid for a live-in nanny at their home in south-west London and worked flexible hours.

Ms Coladangelo said: ‘I don’t worry about my children being closer to their nanny, because I spend as much time as I can with them.

‘I would never dream of telling other mothers what to do with their lives. Every woman has to make her own choice.

‘But I feel very fortunate in my education and believe those years shouldn’t be wasted. I want to work to give something back.’  

Her husband Oliver gave an interview to the Financial Times in November 2015 and spoke about their house. He said: ‘Our indulgence was moving to a bigger home in Wandsworth in September (2015). 

‘We barely had a garden in Clapham, but the new house has a bigger garden and more space downstairs.

‘We might be able to build an extension. The mortgage will still be pretty considerable, as retail businesses are not necessarily throwing up a lot of cash. I am not a tycoon.’ 

Mr Bonas opened his first store on London’s Fulham Road in 1993 with handbags and jewellery he had brought from Hong Kong where his parents lived. 

Speaking to the Independent in September 2015, he said: ‘I’d been bringing presents back for friends and they were really popular so I thought, ‘I wonder if I can make a go of this?’ And to my amazement it just worked.’ 

Bonas was the surname of his then girlfriend Anna Bonas, who is the cousin of Prince Harry’s former girlfriend Cressida Bonas, and he told how ‘she very kindly hasn’t demanded that I changed it’.

Oliver Bonas is an independent chain of lifestyle stores that started out with one shop on Fulham Road in 1993. Initially, Mr Tress mainly stocked products that he had found in trade shows.

Matt Hancock looks at his aide Gina Coladangelo's phone as they leave the BBC studios in London on June 6

Matt Hancock looks at his aide Gina Coladangelo’s phone as they leave the BBC studios in London on June 6

Ms Coladangelo shows off her Oliver Bonas role on her LinkedIn page and has to 'oversee and monitor performance'

Ms Coladangelo shows off her Oliver Bonas role on her LinkedIn page and has to ‘oversee and monitor performance’

Gina Coladangelo works for the company her husband Oliver Tress (pictured together several years ago) founded

Gina Coladangelo works for the company her husband Oliver Tress (pictured together several years ago) founded

Matt Hancock with Ms Coladangelo leaving the BBC studios after appearing on The Andrew Marr Show earlier this month

Matt Hancock with Ms Coladangelo leaving the BBC studios after appearing on The Andrew Marr Show earlier this month

The retailer now has 80 stores across the UK, offering products from contemporary jewellery, gifts, homeware and furniture.

Away from work, Ms Coladangelo has three children. In 2012 she told how she had returned to work while being a mother

Away from work, Ms Coladangelo has three children. In 2012 she told how she had returned to work while being a mother

Top sellers include items like candles, washbags and delicate jewellery. Celebrities such as Holly Willoughby and Christine Lampard have also been spotted in colourful outfits by the brand.

It’s renowned for its vibrant pieces, which often come in bold prints. Based in Chessington, Surrey, the company employs more than 500 people and turnover was £70 in 2017.

Last year the retailer secured £3.5million in funding from HSBC to help support the company post-lockdown. 

The funding is part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and aims to ease the financial strain on the store after the pandemic. 

Mr Tress attended Marlborough College in Wiltshire – where other alumni include Kate Middleton – while Mr Hancock went to the King’s School Chester. 

Ms Coladangelo’s father Rino Coladangelo, 70, is a millionaire businessman and chief executive of an international pharmaceutical company.

Then-London Mayor Boris Johnson meets Oliver Tress while visiting an Oliver Bonas store in November 2015

Then-London Mayor Boris Johnson meets Oliver Tress while visiting an Oliver Bonas store in November 2015

Her mother Heather, 69, a former florist, has held the position of secretary in her husband’s business which has interests in China, India and the US.

Ms Coladangelo's father Rino Coladangelo, 70, is chief executive of an international pharmaceutical company

Ms Coladangelo’s father Rino Coladangelo, 70, is chief executive of an international pharmaceutical company

The couple lives in a 16th century listed former farmhouse in the village of Steeple Morden, on the Hertfordshire-Cambridgeshire border.

Mr Coladangelo is listed in Companies House as Italian but he was educated at University College London and has lived and worked in the UK most of his life.

He is currently chief executive of Rephine Ltd, a Stevenage-based pharmaceutical company which specialises in compliance and regulatory affairs.

According to Linkedin he was a member of the Royal College of Physicians in London and a managing director of an NHS hospital. He speaks English, Italian and French.

Her mother was a director of the Willow Foundation which her daughter was also a director until she resigned in 2018.

The charity, whose life president is former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson, aims to give ‘uplifting and special days’ to seriously-ill young adults.  

Copyright @ spifpanel.com | Newsphere by AF themes.