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Matt Hancock CCTV Leak Under Investigation And UK Spies Urged 'To Look Very Carefully'

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Matt Hancock CCTV Leak Under Investigation And UK Spies Urged 'To Look Very Carefully'

The government will be launching an investigation into how CCTV footage of Matt Hancock kissing aide Gina Coladangelo was leaked.

Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis said the Department of Health and Social Care hopes to find out how the footage became public amid cabinet ministers claiming they've never had cameras in their offices.

Hancock resigned as health secretary on Saturday (26 June) following the latest scandal to hit Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government.

Footage showed Hancock in an embrace with health aide Coladangelo last month, exposing an alleged affair against his wife of 15 years Martha, while also breaking his own Covid-19 rules.

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The Sun published stills from the CCTV footage of Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo. Credit: PA
The Sun published stills from the CCTV footage of Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo. Credit: PA

Mother-of-three Coladangelo - who was hired by Hancock for a taxpayer-funded role in September - is married to businessman Oliver Tress.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the former health secretary had no idea that a camera was installed in his office.

The Daily Mail reports that the whistleblower who shared the footage contacted lockdown sceptics via a now-deleted Instagram account to help place the damning clip in the media.

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Security concerns surrounding the scandal were discussed when Lewis appeared on Sky News' Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme.

Speaking about the leak, Lewis said: "It's something we need to get to the bottom of. Quite rightly what happens in Government departments can be sensitive and important.

Matt Hancock with Gina Coladangelo. Credit: PA
Matt Hancock with Gina Coladangelo. Credit: PA

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

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Although Hancock has apologised for breaching Covid-19 rules, politicians including former health secretary Jeremy Hunt have said that ministers being filmed inside their offices is 'unacceptable'.

"It's completely unacceptable from a security point of view that ministers are being filmed inside their own offices without their knowledge," said Hunt on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show.

"And so there'll be issues that our intelligence agencies will want to look at very, very carefully."

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

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

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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

Meanwhile, Stewart 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)."

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Although think tank The Henry Jackson Society reported the leak as a breach of the Official Secrets Acts to the Metropolitan Police, the force have said it was a matter for the government rather than the police.

The outcome of the investigation is yet to be seen, but nonetheless the departure of Hancock places further pressure on Johnson's government, which was criticised for its early handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Munira Wilson said of Hancock: "He was telling families not to hug loved ones, while doing whatever he liked in the workplace."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: government, Matt Hancock, UK, Politics

Daisy Phillipson
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