Matt Hancock is claiming an extra £13,200 a year in expenses from the taxpayer to rent a love nest after quitting his marital home.
The former Health Secretary has been claiming £3,300 a month for a property in London since September, shortly before he earned £320,000 for appearing on TV reality show, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.
Mr Hancock’s expenses claim is now 50% more than his previous one for a house in his constituency.
He started claiming on the new home six months ago and over the course of a year it will add an extra £13,200 to his expenses claim.
It comes as a register of MPs' interests showed he has earned more than £440,000 in a year in addition to his £84,144 MP’s salary.
Mr Hancock’s lover Gina Coladangelo and her estranged husband Oliver Tress sold their London home for £7.5million at the start of the year.
She was spotted shopping for household items with Mr Hancock in a Homebase store around the time he switched his expenses claim to London.
It sparked speculation the pair were living together, but Mr Hancock’s spokesperson refused to comment. He told the Mirror at the time: “Everything is declared properly.”
Mr Hancock left his family home in Willesden, North West London, in June 2021 after pictures emerged of him kissing Ms Coladangelo during lockdown in his office.
Up until August, the Tory claimed £2,200 a month for a house in his West Suffolk constituency.
In October, his accommodation claim increased by £1,100 a month. His spokesman confirmed to the Mirror that this was for a new second home in London. Mr Hancock also claimed £2,882.34 in removal costs.
In February, he wrote on his website that the Ukrainian family he had been hosting at his Suffolk residence had found jobs, a school for their five-year-old daughter, and “this week, a new home that they can call their own”.
Mr Hancock still owns a £2.2million home in London with his estranged wife Martha, which they bought for £1.6million in 2014.
MPs are allowed to claim for the cost of running a second home. This includes a cap of £17,840 a year in rent – or £25,080 in London.
They are able to claim an extra £5,720 a year in rent for each “eligible dependent”, up to a maximum of three.
Mr Hancock has three children, so is able to claim a total of £42,240.
In December, the Tory said he would not stand in the next general election after his appearance on I’m a Celeb provoked a storm of controversy.
Earlier this month, Mr Hancock accused a journalist who helped him write a book about the pandemic of “massive betrayal and breach of trust” after she leaked 100,000 of his WhatsApp messages to a newspaper.
Isabel Oakeshott defended the move, claiming it was in the “overwhelming national interest”.
It was alleged Mr Hancock rejected Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty’s April 2020 advice that there should be testing for “all going into care homes”.
But Mr Hancock said the messages were released in a “biased account to suit an anti-lockdown agenda”.
But a source close to Mr Hancock said the Health Secretary was “told it wasn't deliverable, and insisted on testing all those who came from hospitals” instead.
Mr Hancock later told the House of Commons that shortly after the Whatsapp exchange there was an email which stated: "We can press ahead straight away with hospitals testing patients who are going to care homes and we should allow to as soon as capacity allows and when we have worked out an operational way of delivering this that everyone going into a care home from the community could be tested."