Matt Hancock video leak will be investigated – Brandon Lewison June 27, 2021 at 9:28 am

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How images of the former health secretary in his private office emerged has sparked security concerns.

Matt Hancock

image copyrightPA Media

The department of health is to look into how footage from Matt Hancock’s office was leaked, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has said.

The video, which shows Mr Hancock breaching Covid rules by kissing a colleague, was passed to the Sun, and ultimately led to his resignation.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Lewis said: “We have to understand how that happened and how we deal with that.”

The Sun says the images had come from “a concerned Whitehall whistleblower”.

The paper’s political editor Harry Cole told Radio 4’s PM programme the alleged whistleblower thought they “deserved a wider audience”.

Mr Hancock resigned as health secretary following the publication of the images saying: “Those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them.”

In his resignation letter, he also reiterated his apology for “breaking the guidance” and apologised to his family for “putting them through this”.

Asked about the leak on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, Mr Lewis said: “The Department of Health will be investigating quite rightly to understand how this was able to happened.”

“We have got to to concerned about the fact that someone was able to secure a recording from inside a government building,” he added.

Replying to a question about the possibility of a general review into security cameras across government buildings, Mr Lewis said he was “sure that is something the team will be looking at”.

“I take the view that everything you are saying or putting in writing will be reported somewhere.”

Speaking on the same programme, Jeremy Hunt – Mr Hancock’s predecessor as health secretary and now chairman of the Health and Social Care Select Committee – said there “absolutely” needed to be a review of security across Whitehall.

“It is completely unacceptable from a security point of view that minsters are big filmed from inside their own offices without their knowledge.”

Asked if the leak was a breach of the Official Secrets Act and whether the police should be involved, Mr Hunt said “possibly” but added that whistleblowers should be protected.

The Metropolitan Police said it was “aware of the distribution of images alleged to have been obtained within an official government premises”.

But the force added: “No criminal investigation has been launched. At this time this remains a matter for the relevant government department.”

Speaking to Sky News, former Labour cabinet minister Alan Johnson said: “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.”

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