Matt Hancock: Denise Welch slams Boris Johnson’s statement
There are growing calls for the Health Secretary to resign over the incident, which broke the Government’s social distancing guidelines. On Friday Mr Hancock apologised for his actions commenting: “I have let people down and am very sorry.”
Boris Johnson is standing by him and “considered the matter closed”.
David Videcette, a former detective who helped investigate the 7/7 London bombings, suggested a “covert camera was concealed in a smoke detector”.
The footage, obtained by The Sun, appeared to be filmed from inside Mr Hancock’s Whitehall office.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Government insiders said it is “unheard of” for cameras to be placed inside ministers’ offices.
Matt Hancock has apologised for his actions
Mr Hancock was pictured kissing Gina Coladangelo
In the video, which lasts for one minute and 16 seconds, Mr Hancock can be seen kissing and embracing 43-year-old Gina Coladangelo.
The health secretary hired Ms Coladangelo, who he met whilst both were studying at Oxford, last year.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Dr Alan Mandoza, from the Henry Jackson Society think tank, said police must investigate whether a foreign power was involved.
He commented: “Given the seriousness, all other ministerial offices will now need immediately sweeping to see what other listening and recording devices are snooping on ministers.
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“Steps should also be taken to determine if this incident was conducted by a disgruntled civil servant or – given its sophistication and seriousness – agents of a hostile state.”
The video appears to be a mobile phone recording of footage from a CCTV type display.
Mr Hancock, who is married with three children, is believed to have retreated to his family’s West Suffolk home.
His wife, Martha, remains at their London address and has been pictured taking her dog for a walk.
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Matt Hancock and Gina Coladangelo pictured outside Downing Street (stock photo)
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Speaking to the Mail, one security expert commented: “In all my years of working in this field I have never known a camera to be positioned inside an office like this.
“An office is a private space and that raises all sorts of issues.
“To me it smacks more of a small covert camera that has been placed in a light fixture.”
Mr Videcette, now a crime writer, reached a similar conclusion on Twitter.
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He tweeted: “Looking at the angle of the shots of his clinch with his lover, and assuming Matt Hancock’s office is a mirror image of this at the other end of the building, it would be my assessment the covert camera was concealed in the smoke detector in his office.
“If someone can place a covert camera in a Government ministers office so easily, it’s a huge security problem, and next time it might be a bomb.”
Labour has urged Mr Johnson to sack his health secretary.
The UK is continuing to battle the coronavirus pandemic
Anneliese Dodds, the party chair, said: “The charge sheet against Matt Hancock includes wasting taxpayers’ money, leaving care homes exposed and now being accused of breaking his own Covid rules.
“His position is hopelessly untenable. Boris Johnson should sack him.”
Sources close to Dominic Cummings, who has criticised Mr Hancock repeatedly since being sacked as Mr Johnson’s chief advisor, have denied he played any role in the leak.