A contractor “offered up close combat footage of Matt Hancock with the help of a reporter five days earlier”
The leaked CCTV footage revealing Matt Hancock’s case could have been part of a politically motivated plot to oust him, he revealed last night.
In a dramatic twist, it was claimed that a “very successful” anti-foreclosure contractor offered the compromising images to a prominent political reporter five days before their publication.
This suggests that the leak of the footage – which showed the former health secretary breaking his own social distancing rules – could have been motivated by opposition to his stance on Covid.
The source of the images has been the subject of feverish speculation since they were first published late last week.
CCTV footage, apparently from a camera inside Mr Hancock’s private health ministry office, showed him kissing his advisor Gina Coladangelo at a time when shaking was prohibited. arms everyone outside your household.
The leaked CCTV footage exposing Matt Hancock’s case could have been part of a politically motivated plot to oust him, it emerged last night
It had been assumed that the footage had come from a dishonest security guard or departmental “whistleblower” employee who had access to the footage, then contacted the national newspaper which published it directly.
But last night, political journalist and presenter Isabel Oakeshott revealed that she was given a grainy photo of the CCTV clip by “an anti-establishment figure with a grim view of politicians in general and a particular disregard for the architects of politics. lock “.
Writing in The Spectator, she described this person as a “very successful entrepreneur” who “would have appreciated his role in exposing Hancock’s hypocrisy.”
But she said she mistakenly dismissed the images as fake and that the “contact” who offered them agreed that the original seller was “probably a chancellor.”
Miss Oakeshott is in a relationship with Richard Tice, one of the founders of the Leave Means Leave campaign. There are no suggestions of wrongdoing from Mr Tice, who heads Reform UK, a party campaigning to restore pre-Covid freedoms. He revealed last night that he reviewed the clip after Miss Oakeshott passed it on to him, but he believed it had been “tampered with”.
Mr Tice said: “The pictures have been tampered with, there is no doubt about it. If you look closely you see a pair of hands when he is not touching it. They are not his hands.
âWe saw this and thought something was wrong. The pictures got to Isabel and we both agreed it wasn’t right. The case is clearly true, but there is something wrong with this streak.
In a dramatic twist, it was claimed that a ‘very successful’ anti-foreclosure contractor offered the compromising images of Hancock and Councilor Gina Coladangelo (pictured left) to a prominent political journalist five days before their publication
The images were originally from an email account on Protonmail, a service that offers end-to-end encryption. It is understood that it first went on sale five days before the story was published in a national newspaper.
This raises the possibility that the staff member who leaked the clip used a politically motivated middleman to sell it in an attempt to cover their tracks.
Last night, the company responsible for security at the Victoria Street building confirmed for the first time that it was helping the Department of Health and Social Affairs in its investigation into the leak. But Emcor UK – which provided security for sensitive buildings including the top secret Porton Down lab – declined to say whether any of its employees had been questioned or suspended.
The group of security guards who had access to the Ministry of Health’s CCTV footage is considered small and it is likely that there is a digital recording of those who viewed it and may have been able to see it. ‘record surreptitiously on their phone.
MPs and security experts have called for a police investigation into the security breach, fearing the Whitehall investigation lacks the power or expertise to uncover the truth.
This suggests that the leak of the footage – which showed the former health secretary breaking his own social distancing rules – could have been motivated by opposition to his stance on Covid
Labor MP Chris Bryant said yesterday it was “absurd” for the investigation to be carried out by the Department of Health, which “has no skills in this area, no experience and no power – it’s weird” .
He added that he had no confidence that the investigation would reveal the truth and demanded a full parliamentary investigation.
The investigation, which is supported by Whitehall specialists from the Government Security Group at the Cabinet Office, will examine whether the CCTV camera installed in the private office at least four years ago was tampered with.
The cameras used in the building are produced by Hikvision, a Chinese company banned in the United States for fear it could be used by Beijing as a spy tool.
The company denies this claim, saying there is no evidence that its data is being passed to China.
Former Met terrorism detective David Videcette, who discovered documents on cameras in the building, said yesterday that police should intervene if criminal offenses are discovered.
A spokesperson for Scotland Yard has confirmed that it is not investigating the case.
Anger as PM dismisses fury as ‘Westminster bubble’ issue
Boris Johnson came under criticism yesterday as he dismissed anger over Matt Hancock’s lockdown violation as a ‘Westminster bubble’ issue.
When asked by the Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer brought up the case of Ollie Bibby, who died of leukemia in hospital on May 5, a day before the former health secretary was filmed kissing an assistant.
His mother, Penny, has spoken of her anguish over how she and her husband have been prevented from seeing their 27-year-old son in his final weeks.
Yesterday in the House of Commons, the Labor leader quoted Ms Bibby, who said: ‘I am livid. We did everything we were told to do and the man who made the rules didn’t. not done. How can that be true? ‘ Sir Keir said:
âOllie has passed away, like so many others in this pandemic, with his family and friends unable to spend time with him. When he was in the hospital, he begged to see his family. But according to the rules, only one member of his family was allowed to see him.
Boris Johnson came under fire yesterday as he dismissed anger over Matt Hancock’s lockdown violation as a ‘Westminster bubble’ issue
In his response, Mr Johnson said: ‘We all share the heartache and pain of Ollie and her family and of the millions from top to bottom of the country who have endured the hardships this country has gone through in order to bring it under control. the coronavirus pandemic. control and that’s why we had a change of health secretary the day after the story came out. And that’s why in fact what we’re doing as a government, instead of focusing on what’s going on in the Westminster bubble, we’re focusing on rolling out vaccines at a rate that will ensure people like Ollie and his family do not have to suffer in the future.
Ms Bibby, from South Benfleet in Essex, told the BBC: ‘Boris Johnson just rejected the question, he avoided answering it completely, which made us feel we weren’t important.’
The Prime Minister’s press secretary said: “The point he was making was that Starmer was focusing on [Hancock] when he left government five days ago and there are obviously significant challenges facing the country in employment, education, recovery from Covid.