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Politics

Founder of Conservative Christian Fellowship suggests Matt Hancock should resign for breaking own Covid rules

The founder of Conservative Christian Fellowship (CCF) and former aide to Boris Johnson, Tim Montgomerie, has said Matt Hancock should resign for "undermining Covid rules."

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Mr Montgomerie who lives in Salisbury, called the situation disappointing.

He said he thought Matt Hancock was a good minister overall and could come back in around a year to eighteen months.

He added that the incident wouldn't necessarily mean the end of his career but he should take responsibility when he's made a "mistake of this kind."

Mr Montgomerie went on to say that because the health secretary hadn't abided by his own rules, if he was to stay in office, it would be a problem for his authority and the government's wider authority.

David Burrowes MP and Tim Montgomerie founded the CCF in 1990. The fellowship serves as a bridge between the Conservative Party and the Church as well as providing Christian fellowship within the Party

Married aide Mrs Coladangelo was pictured in an embrace with Matt Hancock in footage obtained by the Sun newspaper.

Mr Hancock yesterday admitted he had broken coronavirus guidance and said he was 'very sorry' he 'let people down.'

But the saga has reignited concerns about the appointment of Mrs Coladangelo, a friend of Mr Hancock from Oxford University, in the first place.

Mrs Coladangelo, who is married to Oliver Tress, founder of British retailer Oliver Bonas, was initially taken on as an unpaid adviser in the DHSC on a six-month contract last year, before being appointed as a non-executive director at the department.

The role offers pay of £15,000 a year for 15-20 days of work and is described on the Government website as, in part, "to act in an independent manner bringing expertise, scrutiny and challenge".

It is unclear whether Mrs Coladangelo has taken any pay, but a recent advert was posted for four positions before she was appointed in September 2020 which said Mr Hancock would determine their tenure, up to a period of three years.

North Norfolk Conservative Duncan Baker became the first MP to openly call for Mr Hancock to go on Saturday.

He told his local newspaper, the Eastern Daily Press: "In my view people in high public office and great positions of responsibility should act with the appropriate morals and ethics that come with that role.

"Matt Hancock, on a number of measures, has fallen short of that. As an MP who is a devoted family man, married for 12 years with a wonderful wife and children, standards and integrity matter to me.

"I will not in any shape condone this behaviour and I have in the strongest possible terms told the Government what I think."

Labour has called Mr Hancock's position 'hopelessly untenable.' Boris Johnson said on Friday he considered the matter 'closed.' 


Additional reporting by PA

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