ALMOST two-thirds of Scots (62%) believe there should be an official investigation into whether disgraced former health secretary Matt Hancock breached the ministerial code with his much-publicised kiss with an aide in his office.

Only 29% of Scots polled by Savanta Comres for Left Foot Forward (LFF) disagreed with an inquiry, but half of Tory voters asked said the issue should be investigated along with 58% of voters across the UK, with 27% against.

Hancock was accused of breaching Covid rules after CCTV images were published of him kissing and embracing lobbyist and aide Gina Coladangelo in his Whitehall office 11 days before Government guidelines changed to allow intimate contact with people from other households.

He also previously failed to declare he had appointed Coladangelo as an unpaid adviser at the Department of Health, and later as a non-executive director role on its board – entitling her to between up to £20,000 a year in public funds.

Hancock apologised under pressure, with Boris Johnson declaring the matter “closed”, but Mounting public anger left his position untenable and he was forced to quit.

As opposition parties called for an independent probe into the scandal, SNP MP Kirsten Oswald said an investigation was vital to “shine a light on Tory cronyism” – or trust in the UK Government would be further eroded.

The most damaging aspect of the poll for the UK Government is the 50% of Tory voters who back an official investigation – which rises to almost three-quarters (73%) of Labour voters.

Calls for an independent investigation came from across all age groups, and all parts of the UK, though anger is highest in the North East of England, where 65% of voters backing a probe.

More than half (57%) of people in Yorkshire and the Humber backed an investigation, with the Hancock scandal thought to be a factor in Kim Leadbeater’s Labour victory in last week’s Batley and Spen by-election.

Dr Jacky Davis, author and member of Keep Our NHS Public, said Hancock broke his own rules over social distancing: “People naturally resent the implication that there is one rule for us and no rules for those in power.

“And we know that the public feel less inclined to follow the rules when they see those in power flouting in them.”

She said ministers should be held to the same – if not higher – standards than everybody else, adding: “Hancock should be investigated for breaking his own rules; in his position, saying sorry is just not adequate.”

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, Unite’s national officer for health, called for an independent and transparent inquiry into the conduct of the disgraced former minister: “It should go right back to the beginning of the pandemic, starting with the awarding of PPE contracts to the ‘friends’ of the Tory establishment, and also exploring how Gina Coladangelo obtained a senior post within the NHS, and whether the proper appointment procedures were scrupulously followed in her case.”