politics

Matt Hancock office CCTV leak investigated as UK spies urged 'to look carefully'


An official probe is under way into how CCTV footage from inside Matt Hancock’s private office came to be made public.

A Cabinet minister today confirmed an “internal investigation” will be “taken forward” into the leak – as a top MP warned it raised questions for national security and should be examined by UK spies.

The shocking footage showed the Health Secretary in a clinch with aide Gina Coladangelo.

It follows claims that a whistleblower from inside Mr Hancock’s department was the source of the images, after secretly recording them from the building’s security cameras.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the whistleblower approached media outlets using a now-deleted Instagram account, offering “damning” footage of the “totally f*****g hopeless” Health Secretary in a “very compromising position.”



Footage of Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo was leaked to the Sun newspaper
Footage of Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo was leaked to the Sun newspaper



Jeremy Hunt said there should be a national security probe
Jeremy Hunt said there should be a national security probe

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today said intelligence agencies like MI5 or GCHQ will want to look at the issue “carefully”.

Mr Hunt told the BBC it is “completely unacceptable” that ministers are being filmed inside their offices.

Asked if it was a breach of the Official Secrets Act and police should be involved, the senior MP replied: “Possibly.

“We have rightly in this country… protection for whistleblowers who find things out and release them in the public interest, and we don’t want to undermine that.

“But I do think we do need to understand how this happened and make sure ministers are secure in their offices to be able to have conversations they know aren’t going to be leaked to hostile powers.”

The chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee added: “There’ll be issues that our intelligence agencies will want to look at very, very carefully.”

Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis confirmed an investigation, telling Sky News: “It’s something we need to get to the bottom of.

“Quite rightly what happens in Government departments can be sensitive and important.

“So, yes, I do know that is something the Department of Health will be taking forward as an internal investigation.”

Mr Lewis also told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that the investigatory team will be looking into the issue “across Government”.

Though he added: “I have to say I always take the view it’s best to assume that everything you’re saying or putting in writing is going to be reported somewhere.”

Think tank The Henry Jackson Society has reported the disclosure of the footage as a breach of the Official Secrets Acts (OSA) to the Metropolitan Police.

But the force said it considered the leak “a matter for the relevant Government department” rather than police.



Matt Hancock in a meeting in his office on 9 February 2021 with aides including Gina Coladangelo
Matt Hancock in a meeting in his office on 9 February 2021 with aides including Gina Coladangelo

Former Cabinet ministers Alan Johnson and Rory Stewart both said there had never been cameras in their offices during their time in government.

Mr Johnson told Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “I could never understand why there was a camera in the Secretary of State’s office.

“There was never a camera in my office when I was health secretary or in any of the other five Cabinet positions.”

Mr Stewart, who was International Development Secretary from May to July 2019, said in a tweet: “I definitely did not know that there were cameras in any of my ministerial offices (in fact I was told – when I asked if there were any cameras – that there were not cameras in my office in DfiD).”

He added: “If it were a departmental camera – perhaps focused on the door for security reasons – then it would be seen by the security officers.

“Someone else installing it would have some challenges – security passes, doors, access to ministerial office etc.”





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