Dating site for married people uses Matt Hancock picture for advert

‘For an affair behind closed doors’: Married dating site Illicit Encounters uses Matt Hancock’s image on billboard advertising extramarital affairs

  • Hancock resigned from his high-powered job after video of aide kiss emerged
  • The video showed him straying from his loyal wife of 15 years with a colleague
  • Now his laughing face has been used to advertise a dating website for cheaters 

Shamed former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has become ‘the face’ of a dating site for married people straying from their partners.

The unlikely lothario – who quit his role after being caught on camera kissing his aide – features on a billboard branded for Illicit Encounters.

Its poster was spotted in south London and teased how he had been caught out cheating on his wife.

The slogan on the advertisement simply read ‘For an affair behind closed doors’.

It is thought Hancock is not a willing participant of the advert. 

The company describes itself as the UK’s leading dating website for married people and the leading authority on infidelity. It claims to have over a million UK users.

A spokeswoman for Illicit Encounters told MailOnline: ‘It’s clear that “behind closed doors” doesn’t mean much in Whitehall but it does at Illicit Encounters. 

The sign was seen in south London and put online by a marketing expert who spotted it

Mr Hancock said sorry for breaking social distancing and asked for ‘privacy’ for his family, but refused to resign as Health Secretary

‘This is the most talked about story in politics since that other chap with floppy blonde hair was accused of cheating, so we thought we’d use it as an opportunity to highlight the benefits of our service.

‘Forget taped over CCTV cameras. We take the anonymity of our members very seriously to provide a meeting place for like-minded people looking for a little romance outside of their relationship.’

Hancock and his aide Gina Coladangelo are said to be serious about each other, friends claimed as the health secretary quit his job and walked out on his marriage. 

He bowed to growing pressure to go on Saturday night, less than 48 hours after pictures emerged of him in a passionate embrace with Ms Coladangelo at the Department of Health.

He told Boris Johnson in his letter of resignation that the Government ‘owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down’.

The former health secretary told his wife, Martha, he would be leaving her on Thursday night – immediately after discovering that his affair with Gina Coladangelo was about to be laid bare. 

Gina Coladangelo (pictured with the Health Secretary in September 2019), initially taken on by Mr Hancock as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in early 2020, is also leaving her position on the board of the Department of Health

Images and video showed Mr Hancock in an embrace with aide Ms Coladangelo last month inside his private office, sparking intense pressure on him to quit over the breaking of social-distancing rules.

Friends said on Saturday night the pair had been seeing each other for around six weeks, but were a ‘love match’.

In a video announcing his resignation Mr Hancock said: ‘The last thing I would want is for my private life to distract attention from the single-minded focus that is leading us out of this crisis.

‘I want to reiterate my apology for breaking the guidance, and apologise to my family and loved ones for putting them through this. I also need (to) be with my children at this time.’

Ms Coladangelo, initially taken on by Mr Hancock as an unpaid adviser on a six-month contract in early 2020, is reported to also be leaving her DHSC job, but the department had not confirmed this on Saturday night.

Mr Johnson had refused to sack Mr Hancock, with his spokesman saying the PM considered the matter closed after receiving the West Suffolk MP’s apology on Friday.

But by the next day Conservative MPs began to break ranks to call for Mr Hancock to go.

In response to his resignation, the Prime Minister wrote: ‘You should leave office very proud of what you have achieved – not just in tackling the pandemic, but even before Covid-19 struck us.’ 

Mr Hancock also said in a video posted to Twitter: ‘I’ve been to see the Prime Minister to resign as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made – that you have made. And those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I’ve got to resign.

‘I want to thank people for their incredible sacrifices and what they’ve done. Everybody working in the NHS, across social care. Everyone involved in the vaccine programme. And frankly everybody in this country who has risen to the challenges that we’ve seen over this past 18 months.

‘I’m very proud of what we’ve done to protect the NHS and the peak, to deliver that vaccine rollout – one of the fastest in the world – and I look forward to supporting the government and the Prime Minister from the backbenches to make sure that we can get out of this pandemic.

‘We’re so close to the end – and then build back better so that this country can fulfil its potential – which is so great – and I will do that with all of my heart.’

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