Firm with family connection to Hancock aide says contracts were properly awarded

·2-min read

A healthcare company which employs as a senior director the brother of the aide Matt Hancock was pictured kissing has insisted it had never benefited from the connection to the Health Secretary.

Reports suggested Roberto Coladangelo, strategy director at Partnering Health Limited (PHL Group), was the brother of Gina Coladangelo.

And as the familial connection between the two was confirmed on Saturday, PHL, which provides urgent and primary care services, said it had never been awarded any contracts by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Mr Hancock’s job hangs in the balance after he was caught on video kissing Mrs Coladangelo in his DHSC office.

Mrs Coladangelo, who is married to the founder of the retailer Oliver Bonas, Oliver Tress, is a friend of Mr Hancock from their days together at Oxford University and was appointed to the DHSC last year.

She was initially taken on as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in March 2020, before being appointed as a non-executive director at the department.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing in regard to the awarding of any contracts to PHL.

But it comes after Mr Hancock was ruled to have committed a “minor” but undeliberate breach of the ministerial code by failing to declare that a family firm in which he held shares won an NHS contract, following a probe by the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser.

Independent adviser on ministerial standards Lord Geidt found that Mr Hancock, 42, should have declared that Topwood Limited, a firm owned by his sister and in which he held 20% shares, was approved as an NHS contractor.

Lord Geidt did not recommend that he resign.

In February, Mr Hancock was also forced to defend his connection to Hinpack, a manufacturing business run by former publican Alex Bourne.

The Guardian reported at the time that Mr Bourne, who used to run the Cock Inn in Little Thurlow, a village in the Health Secretary’s West Suffolk constituency, contacted Mr Hancock over WhatsApp to offer his services during the pandemic.

The firm partnered with a diagnostics supplier to produce specimen collection tubes and funnels for Covid-19 testing but Mr Hancock and Mr Bourne both said the Health Secretary had not been involved in awarding the contract and told Mr Bourne to apply through the Government website like everyone else.

On Saturday a spokesperson for PHL said its contracts had always been awarded in the correct way.

They said: “PHL has been operating for over 11 years and at all times has secured contracts through the robust tender and procurement processes put in place by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

“At no time have any contracts been awarded outside of these rigorous processes and no contracts have ever been awarded by the Department of Health and Social Care.”

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