Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said the Department of Health will investigate how video footage from the office of British Health Secretary Matt Hancock showing him kissing his colleague was leaked.
And the video, published by the British newspaper The Sun, caused Hancock to resign because he did not adhere to the precautionary measures to deal with the Corona epidemic, and he was accepting a female colleague at work.
“We have to understand how it happened and how to deal with it,” Northern Ireland’s minister of state for Northern Ireland told the BBC about the video leak.
The Sun said it obtained the CCTV video from “a whistleblower interested in the situation inside Whitehall”.
The newspaper’s political editor Harry Cole told BBC Radio 4’s PM program that the alleged whistleblower believed they (Hancock and his girlfriend) “deserve a wider audience”.
The newspaper says the photos and videos of Hancock and Gina Coladangelo, both married with three children, were taken inside the Ministry of Health and Social Care on May 6.
But there are questions about how the videos were captured from within a government department.
When asked about the leakage of the video on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, Brandon Lewis said: “The Department of Health is going to investigate exactly right to understand how this happened.”
“We should be concerned about the fact that someone was able to obtain a registration from inside a government building,” he added.
Asked about the possibility of conducting a public review of security cameras across government buildings, Lewis said he was “sure the team will look into this thing.”
“I take it that everything you say or write will be reported somewhere,” the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland added.
On the same programme, Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary and current chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, spoke of an “absolute” need for a security review in Whitehall.
“It is completely unacceptable from a security point of view that ministers are being photographed inside their offices without their knowledge, so there will be issues that our intelligence agencies want to look at very carefully,” Hunt added.
“But there is also another issue which is the need for ministers to talk honestly and openly especially with their senior subordinates to discuss matters so that they can understand the issues related to their work, and they must be assured that those conversations will remain confidential.”
When asked whether the leak was a breach of the Official Secrets Act and whether police should have intervened, Hunt said “probably” but added that whistleblowers should be protected.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the CCTV leak needed to be investigated, saying it was a security issue.
He added: “If anyone thinks Matt Hancock’s resignation is the end of the case, I think they are wrong, and I think the next health secretary and prime minister needs to answer questions about surveillance cameras, who has access to them, who passes them and their contracts.”
The London Metropolitan Police said it was “aware of the distribution of photographs allegedly obtained within an official government building”.
But she added that no criminal investigation had been opened, “at this time, this matter remains within the jurisdiction of the relevant government department.”
Former ministers Alan Johnson and Rory Stewart stressed that there were no cameras in their offices during their time in government.
Speaking to Sky News’ Trevor Phillips, Johnson, the former Labor government minister, said on Sunday: “I never understood why there was a camera in the secretary of state’s office.”
He added, “There was no camera in my office when I was health minister or in any of the other five ministerial positions.”
While Stewart, who served as International Development Secretary in the Conservative government in 2019, confirmed in a tweet: “I certainly didn’t know there were cameras in any of my Cabinet offices (in fact I was told, when I asked if there were any, that they There were no cameras in my office.”