CCTV was ‘deliberately turned from balcony to door’, selon les rapports
The security camera that caught Matt Hancock kissing his adviser in his office was supposed to have been pointing in the other direction, according to reports that come amid suspicion over how his affair came to be exposesd.
It goes on to claim a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) investigation will be carried out to examine whether the direction of the camera may have been moved during the renovations or by someone else with access to the office.
A separate report by the Soirée Standard quotes senior Whitehall sources as saying the camera may have been deliberately tampered with.
“We all think Matt Hancock was really stitched up on this,” a source told the paper.
Sources also told the paper that private contractors had been hired to monitor the camera, rather than police or government employees.
A series of security reviews has been launched across Westminster as Whitehall officials review the use of cameras in government departments. Whitehall security specialists are assisting DHSC with their investigation.
Documents seen by The Telegraph read show a “full security review” was carried out in the privately-owned building by a parliamentary security team and the Met Police and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
The paper quotes one document as saying: “The building has several balconies and terraces and it is proposed that these will also need to be covered by security cameras. The cameras chosen for this will be fixed or have limited field of vision and it is not intended that areas other than the balconies will be monitored.”
A former Scotland Yard detective has said the camera would normally have been pointed to watch the former health secretary’s ninth-floor balcony and fire exit, and not the door as it was.
Security expert David Videcette said he believed “someone repurposed the camera”, tweeter: “The CCTV camera that caught Matt Hancock kissing in his office was there to monitor a balcony & should have been pointing in opposite direction.
“The decisions to use this space as his office have been idiotic. But the point here is this – someone repurposed the camera.” He added: “The implications of that from a security point of view is huge.”
With the DHSC conducting its own investigation into the leak of the footage, MI5 is set to hold talks with the Cabinet Office this week over the incident and the implications for national security, selon Les temps.
On Monday the new health secretary, Said Javid, confirmed the camera in his office has now been disabled. Justice secretary Robert Buckland has said he has been informed there is no CCTV in his office after ordering a “sweep” of his own department.
DHSC did not comment on the Soirée Standard rapport.