Matt Hancock mocked by Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg’s son for lockdown affair

Matt Hancock reportedly enjoyed 'sparing' with Peter Rees-Mogg
Matt Hancock reportedly enjoyed 'sparing' with Peter Rees-Mogg - HOLLIE ADAMS /GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Matt Hancock was mocked by Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg’s son over his lockdown affair as he addressed pupils on a visit to Eton.

Peter Rees-Mogg, one of Sir Jacob’s six children, was among those present at a talk by the former health secretary on Tuesday.

According to The Times Diary, Mr Hancock began his remarks with a quip about how his former Cabinet colleague was “not a good politician”.

When students were later given the opportunity to ask questions, Peter reportedly stood up and insisted his father was a great man both in public and in private, before adding to enthusiastic applause: “Especially as he remained loyal to his wife.”

Praising his son for his remarks, Sir Jacob told The Telegraph: “I think Peter was brave to stand up in front of hundreds of boys to take on a senior figure. It shows backbone and from my point of view admirable loyalty.”

Mr Hancock, who sits as an independent MP after being stripped of the whip for his participation in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, appeared to take the jibe in good humour.

A friend of Mr Hancock told The Telegraph: “Matt thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the sparring with some very impressive boys.”

Peter (far right) is the eldest of Jacob Rees-Mogg and wife Helena's children
Peter (far right) is the eldest of Jacob Rees-Mogg and wife Helena's children - EDDIE MULHOLLAND

The former cabinet minister’s affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo was revealed by the Sun newspaper in 2021 and triggered the end of his front-line political career.

Mr Hancock, who oversaw the repeated rollout of social distancing restrictions while in post at the Department for Health, told his wife, Martha, that he was leaving her shortly before the news became public.

He has since apologised for his behaviour and insisted he was “very careful” not to break the law during the course of his affair but did not think about Covid guidance that the Government was putting out at the time.

Peter was among those present outside Downing Street in September 2022 as Boris Johnson gave his farewell speech before leaving office.

He was reportedly so well-regarded by the former prime minister he was invited to join him and other supporters for a bacon sandwich breakfast before Mr Johnson’s address.

It is not Peter’s first reported intervention in politics this week after Kelvin MacKenzie, a former editor of the Sun, wrote on social media that Sir Jacob’s son asked Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK, “can you please not put up a candidate against my father?” at the next election.

In April 2023, he also wrote via email to State of the Nation, the GB News programme hosted by his father, to mock him for telling viewers “basic facts” about the Second World War.

Sir Jacob said: “You’ve been getting in touch with your thoughts and I’ve had one from a certain Peter Rees-Mogg, to whom I may be related, who says I don’t need to explain basic facts about World War Two because my audience is intelligent enough to know.”