The government’s health department has launched an internal inquiry into how the CCTV footage that led to Hancock’s resignation was leaked.
A government minister has confirmed that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is investigating how images and a video of the former health secretary kissing an adviser in his private office were leaked to The Sun.
“We have got to be concerned about the fact that someone was able to secure a recording from inside a government building,” Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis told the BBC‘s Andrew Marr show.
Security officials reportedly believe that Hancock was filmed with a CCTV camera hidden inside a smoke detector, and that the video was leaked by a whistleblower from his staff.
Brandon Lewis told Sunday morning’s television news programmes that the security and privacy of government affairs means ministers need to understand how the footage was obtained.
Hancock resigned as health secretary on Saturday evening over the widely reported breach of social distancing guidelines that was revealed by the images of him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo in his ministerial office in May.
“I do know that is something the Department of Health will be taking forward as an internal investigation and we need to see and let them have the space to do that, to understand how this happened and to ensure this kind of situation can’t happen again or across government indeed,” Lewis told Trevor Phillips on Sky News on Sunday.
Shortly after Hancock’s resignation on Saturday, Boris Johnson appointed former chancellor and home secretary Sajid Javid as his new health secretary.
Javid has made comments in the past advocating for an easing of coronavirus restrictions as soon as possible – a position he seemed to maintain in his comment to broadcasters on Sunday morning:
“We are still in a pandemic and I want to see that come to an end as soon as possible, and that will be my most immediate priority – to see that we can return to normal as soon and as quickly as possible,” Javid said.