Great Britain

Gina Coladangelo is married millionaire mum and Oliver Bonas PR chief who Matt Hancock hired at taxpayers’ expense

MILLIONAIRE mum-of-three Gina Coladangelo is communications director at Oliver Bonas, the fashion and lifestyle store founded by her husband Oliver Tress.

She is also a director and major shareholder at lobbying firm Luther Pendragon, which offers clients a “deep understanding of the mechanics of government”.

Matt Hancock secretly appointed Coladangelo to the Department of Health and Social Care as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March last year.

It sparked claims of a ‘chumocracy’ in November, when it also emerged she had accompanied Hancock to confidential meetings with civil servants and visited No10.

In September, Hancock appointed Coladangelo as a non-executive director at DHSC, meaning that she is a member of the board that scrutinises the department.

There was no public record of the appointment, which was set to see her earn at least £15,000 of taxpayers’ money, potentially rising by a further £5,000.

Since April, Coladangelo has had a parliamentary pass, giving her unregulated access to the Palace of Westminster.

It bears her husband’s surname, which she does not use professionally, and is sponsored by Lord Bethell, the hereditary peer, health minister and former lobbyist.

She is now officially listed on the Department of Health website.

Coladangelo is said to have signed a “volunteer’s agreement”, meaning that she is bound by the Official Secrets Act.

GOVERNMENT 'POSTER BOY'

Luther Pendragon, the lobbying firm in which she is a director, boasts clients who have secured lucrative contracts during the pandemic, including British Airways and Accenture, which received £2.5m to help build the NHS Covid-19 app.

Trade publications have described Oliver Bonas, for whom she works as communications and marketing director, as something of a “poster boy” for the government of late.

Then there is Coladangelo’s appointment as a non-executive director of DHSC, which appears in just one place publicly: her LinkedIn page.

The role makes her responsible for “overseeing and monitoring performance” — in effect, scrutinising matters of concern to Hancock.

Coladangelo’s role does not break any rules — because there are none.

Ministers, in other words, are free to create a process or, as Hancock has apparently done, reward their closest friends with roles.

Hancock is one of the most powerful officials in government and a member of the “quad” of cabinet ministers who determine Covid-19 policy.

Some even credit him with persuading the PM to return to a second lockdown.

Martha Hoyer Millar tied the knot with Matt Hancock in 2006.

Her grandfather, the 1st Baron Inchyra, was British ambassador to West Germany, and her great grandfather was the 1st Viscount Camrose.

According to Matt Hancock’s website the couple remain married and have three small children.

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