So much for No. 10 considering the 'case closed.' Matt Hancock has resigned tonight after 48 hours of fury at his fling with his taxpayer funded aide and Oxford contemporary Gina Coladangelo. The Health Secretary decided just hours before the Sunday papers dropped to go, with Mr S understanding further revelations were on the way.
Earlier today Mr S himself went to the Department of Health to ask about whether Coladangelo had accompanied her former Exeter College mate back to their alma mater earlier this month to attend the pre G7 health ministers' discussion held, coincidentally enough, on 3-4 July at Exeter College, Oxford. No reply was hence forthcoming.
Hancock has already released what is believed to be the first ministerial resignation video, as befits a former culture minister who once released his own app. The jargon-filled clip is replete with phrases like 'build back better' but was suspiciously short of an apology.
In the letters Hancock and the Prime Minister exchanged, there was no word as to whether the ex-minister will decline the tax free £17,918 pay-off he is entitled to receive under the 1975 Ministerial Salaries Act – the equivalent of three months of his £71,673 annual salary.
Already Labour are calling on Hancock to defer the payment, with Tonia Antoniazzi MP telling Steerpike: 'They've told key workers to suck it up by refusing to give those who've kept us safe during the pandemic a pay rise. This is an insult to working people in this country and Matt Hancock should do the decent thing and decline his egregious golden goodbye payment.'
The Sunday Times has meanwhile published an online version which suggests that local fury in Hancock's West Suffolk seat means he risks being deselected by Tory activists ahead of the next election. At a meeting of Suffolk Conservatives on Friday, just one lone voice spoke in favour of Hancock – a local councillor who donated £10,000 to the ex-minister in 2018. Hancock's wife Martha is meanwhile said to be suffering from long Covid supposedly caught from her husband, with friends now suggesting their marriage is over.
Looks like even Hancock's resignation won't stop the questions being asked.