Electronic devices are seized from two homes as data watchdog investigates leaking of bombshell CCTV footage of Matt Hancock kissing aide
- Data watchdog has seized electronic devices in probe into Matt Hancock CCTV
- Dramatic footage of then-Health Secretary in a clinch in office sparked downfall
- Questions have been asked about how the highly-sensitive footage emerged
Electronic devices have been seized following searches of two homes in relation to the leaking of the CCTV footage that led to Matt Hancock‘s downfall, it was revealed today.
The Information Commissioner’s Office said they had retrieved the kit as part of an investigation into how the material emerged.
The dramatic pictures of the then-Health Secretary in a clinch with Gina Coladangelo in his Whitehall office caused a storm.
After initially trying to hang on and being backed by Boris Johnson, he quit admitting he had breached social distancing rules.
But serious questions have been raised about how the highly sensitive footage came to be leaked.
New Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that the CCTV in the office has since been disabled for ‘security’ reasons – although he has also made jokes at the expense of his predecessor.
The dramatic pictures of the Matt Hancock in a clinch with aide Gina Coladangelo in his Whitehall office caused a storm
Electronic devices have been seized following searches of two homes in relation to the leaking of the CCTV footage that led to Mr Hancock’s downfall, it was revealed today
Mr Hancock is believed to have split from his wife Martha (left) after his relationship with Ms Coladangelo, 43, emerged
The ICO said in a statement: ‘EMCOR Group (UK) plc, which provides facilities management and CCTV services for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), has submitted a breach report as a processor of personal data, alleging images were taken from the DHSC CCTV system without consent from either EMCOR Group (UK) plc or the DHSC…
‘As part of the investigation, ICO teams searched two residential properties in the south of England on Thursday 15 July 2021.
‘Personal computer equipment and electronic devices were seized as part of the operation and the ICO’s enquiries into alleged breaches of section 170 of the Data Protection Act 2018 continue.’
Steve Eckersley, Director of Investigations at the ICO said: ‘It’s vital that all people, including employees and visitors to public buildings, have trust and confidence in the protection of their personal data captured by CCTV.
‘In these circumstances, the ICO aims to react swiftly and effectively to investigate where there is a risk that other people may have unlawfully obtained personal data. We have an ongoing investigation into criminal matters and will not be commenting further until it is concluded.’
Mr Hancock resigned his Cabinet post two day after the affair was revealed, even though Downing Street initially described the matter as ‘closed.’
In a letter to the PM Mr Hancock said the government ‘owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down’.
Mr Johnson said he was ‘sorry’ to receive the resignation, although he later suggested he had acted quickly to axe his senior minister.
Not-so-subtle dig: The new Health Secretary giggles after taking a cheeky swipe at Matt Hancock for getting caught having an affair on CCTV
Mr Hancock had been under increasing pressure to quit, after The Sun published the images, and then a video, of Mr Hancock and Ms Coladangelo kissing.
The footage was taken inside the Department of Health on 6 May, during a time when people were ordered to social distance from family and friends.
Mr Hancock ended his 15-year marriage to his wife, Martha, and the relationship with Ms Coladangelo is understood to be a serious one.
Mr Javid joked about the infamous camera that captured his predecessor kissing and groping an aide.
Speaking by video link at a local government conference last week, Mr Javid said: ‘I hope my camera is on… I mean the one on my laptop, not the one on the ceiling.’
Mr Javid has previously swiped at Mr Hancock, liking a meme on social media which suggested he installed the camera himself as a ploy to get the gig.