Cabinet Minister Has Office Swept For Cameras Following Matt Hancock Scandal
A UK cabinet minister says he asked for his office to be swept for hidden cameras, as the government continues to investigate the source of the leaked footage behind Matt Hancock’s affair scandal.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said that he asked for a security team to sweep his office on Friday, shortly after news broke that the former health secretary had been filmed kissing his aide in his office.
Buckland said that he was ‘not sure’ whether he and other ministers had CCTV in their offices, and added that he expected other MPs would also be asking for their offices to be swept, describing it as ‘the sensible thing to do.’
He told Sky News:
I’ve never seen any camera facilities. I know there is CCTV in the building for obvious security reasons, but I am sure that many of my colleagues will be asking the same question and making sure that the offices are swept just in case there are unauthorised devices in there that could be a national security breach.
The news comes as the government confirmed it has launched an investigation into how Hancock came to be filmed breaking social distancing rules in his office, with officials seeking to clarify whether the footage was taken from a legitimate CCTV camera or an illegally installed hidden camera, potentially raising broader security concerns.
The Telegraph reported that the former health secretary had ‘no idea’ that a camera was present in his office when it captured him kissing Gina Coladangelo.
Also speaking to Sky News, Conservative peer Lord Lansley said he understood that cabinet offices had a ‘regular sweep’ for electronic devices, but called for ‘a whole range’ of measures to be put in place to prevent further leaks.
Buckland said Hancock has made the ‘right’ decision by resigning after it became ‘overwhelmingly clear that credibility was at stake,’ however, he refused to criticise the former health secretary for appointing Coladangelo to a non-executive director role in the Department of Health last year.
‘I’m confident that due process was followed and that declarations were made. As to when the relationship began I’m afraid I don’t know,’ he said.
Hancock continues to face questions over the timing of his affair and his decision to appoint Coladangelo to a role in his department. He resigned on Saturday, a day after a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said he ‘considers the matter closed.’
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