Ben Shephard grills Grant Shapps on if Matt Hancock can ‘survive’ affair claims

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Good Morning Britain's Kate Garraway grilled Grant Shapps MP on Friday about allegations Health Secretary Matt Hancock had an affair with one of his advisors.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, has been pictured in a steamy clinch with 43-year-old Gina Coladangelo at the Department of Health's London HQ.

Matt Hancock is yet to comment on the claims.

Speaking alongside co host Ben Shephard, Kate asked Mr Shapps if he felt sorry for Mr Hancock, and if he knew about the allegations previously.

Ben demanded to know if Mr Shapps still thought Mr Hancock could do his job, without the allegations being "distracting" to Mr Hancock and his team.

Grant Shapps was quizzed on whether Health Secretary Matt Hancock was fit for the job

Kate began: "I am sure you're going to say it's an entirely personal matter and not comment on it, but he is in a very important position, and you must have to talk to him all the time about decisions you're making.

"Have you made contact with him this morning? Have you tried to discuss how this might affect, even just the allegations, his ability to do the job?" she asked,

Mr Shapps replied: "As you rightly say, it is a personal matter, people have personal relations and it's not my job to comment on their personal life, the job I am interested in is the job done as Health Secretary."

Grant Shapps said the allegations were "news to him"

He then reiterated the success of the vaccination programme.

"This is what the Health Secretary is responsible for, I can answer for those things, but his private life…" he added.

Kate replied: "I wouldn't ask you to answer for his private life, obviously, that is for Mr Hancock to if he feels he wants to and is in a position to.

"But he is the Health Secretary, and it's not just personal is it? Because there are implications of rules being broken, there are implications of distraction, if he is doing his job, and the turmoil and the trust it creates.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo leave No10 in May last year
(Image: Getty Images)

"Yesterday we were talking about how the Queen had empathy for him, and was commenting on his ability to do the job in a rather rosy light, today this.

"Do you have some personal sympathy for him if nothing else?" she asked.

Mr Shapps replied: "Look, he has obviously been working incredibly hard and we have seen the results in things like the vaccination programme…. the Health Secretary and his team have been working very hard."

"His team are going to be very distracted by this today, aren't they?" asked Kate. "And that is going to be a problem, isn't it?"

Kate Garraway said the allegations would be "distracting" for Mr Hancock's team

The MP replied: "We are all human beings, we all have personal lives, families, friends, personal things we have to deal with, it gets dangerously close to moralising about someone else’s life."

Kate asked: "Do you have any idea where the story came from? Were you aware of suggestions like this?"

"I was not, news to me," replied Mr Shapps.

Ben asked: "Does he have your full confidence?"

Mr Shapps replied again about the success of the vaccine rollout adding: "He's been doing a terrific job, it's a matter for him and personal relationships are outside of my remit."

Ben asked: "Do you think he can survive this?"

"I think he has been doing a great job, there is no reason why he shouldn't carry on, he has been helping a lot of people vaccinated," said Mr Shapps.

"I think we have moved into a world where we can separate the private and the public when it comes to people's personal lives, that's for them to talk about and not for someone else to comment on."

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