Sleazy does it: a gruesome history of Westminster scandal

Matt Hancock's reign or error is over, snafu'd by a sixth-form snog with a friendly aide. But he's by no means alone in the sleaze stakes...

They say Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, but it would do ugly people a real disservice to say this also applies to Westminster. What makes British political sleaze seem so grim, so slimy? The answer lies in that footage of Matt Hancock snogging his aide Gina Coladangelo, a Department of Health colleague, revealed last week by The Sun. It’s the way he furtively pokes his balding head out the door to check the coast is clear. It’s how he awkwardly shuffles over to her, as if to say ‘Right, my Google Calendar tells me it’s our 15-minute adultery meeting’. It’s how he immediately grabs her ass like a teenager who wholeheartedly believes that there is no punani without Armani.

The late writer AA Gill once teased political anoraks for having certain characteristics — like speedy typing — that indicated an adolescence “bereft of one-to-one nudity”. It must be the desire to make up for all those mornings leafleting in the rain and evenings sitting in empty, echoey town halls for speeches on Friedmanite theory that drives politicians like Hancock to shag their colleagues. As is unfortunately the case, his antics have recalled past political scandals that weren’t quite Jeremy Thorpe or Profumo-grade, but were still pretty grotty in their own way. Here’s your run down of the best Hancock-tier fiascos – your A-to-Sleaze guide (sorry).

Baron Sewel: “I just want to be led astray…”

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