A former counter-terror investigator has warned there’s ‘way more’ to the story of Matt Hancock being caught in a clinch with his aide ‘than the affair it seeks to expose’ amid speculation the CCTV camera was hidden in a smoke alarm.
David Videcette, who was a lead detective on the 7/7 London bombings investigation, posted a series of tweets concluding that the ‘covert camera was concealed in a smoke detector’ inside the Health Secretary’s Whitehall office.
He compared the office to another one on the same floor at the east end of the Department of Health building, saying Mr Hancock’s room is likely a ‘mirror image’.
The ex-investigator used an image to point out the difference between a CCTV camera and a smoke detector near the floor’s balcony area – the camera has a black dome, while the alarm does not.
Mr Videcette then zoomed in on a photo of a matching detector, but this time it was next to the door inside the office.
He tweeted: ‘Looking at the angle of the shots of his clinch with his lover, and assuming Matt Hancock’s office is a mirror image of this at the other end of the building, it would be my assessment the covert camera was concealed in the smoke detector in his office.’
David Videcette (pictured above), who was a lead detective on the 7/7 London bombings investigation, posted a series of tweets concluding that the ‘covert camera was concealed in a smoke detector’ inside the Health Secretary’s Whitehall office
The ex-investigator compared the office to another one on the same floor at the east end of the Department of Health building, saying Mr Hancock’s room is likely a ‘mirror image’
The former detective, who is now a crime writer, continued: ‘If someone can place a covert camera in a government ministers office so easily, it’s a huge security problem, and next time it might be a bomb.’
Referring to the newly-emerged footage of the pair’s passionate kiss, he added: ‘I think what you are looking at is video (of Hancock and his lover) being played on a monitor, and then someone has filmed the monitor on a phone (hence it moves around in an odd way).’
It comes amid reports that Mr Hancock had no clue the camera existed during his steamy exchange with 43-year-old Gina Coladangelo, the Daily Telegraph understands.
One covert security expert said: ‘In all my years of working in this field I have never known a camera to be positioned inside an office like this.
‘An office is a private space and that raises all sorts of issues.’
The expert added: ‘To me it smacks more of a small covert camera that has been placed in a light fixture.’
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson was facing an overwhelming clamour to sack Mr Hancock on Friday night.
The Health Secretary had put Miss Coladangelo, a friend from university, on the public payroll only last year. He made no comment on claims he was having an affair with the 43-year-old but said: ‘I have let people down and am very sorry.’
After crisis talks in No 10, the Prime Minister personally backed him to stay on and said he ‘considered the matter closed’.
Mr Hancock made no comment on claims he was having an affair with the 43-year-old but said: ‘I have let people down and am very sorry’
After crisis talks in No 10, the Prime Minister personally backed him to stay on and said he ‘considered the matter closed’
The decision prompted fury last night across the political spectrum, among members of the public and even from business leaders enraged by Mr Hancock’s hypocrisy.
Support for the 42-year-old was ebbing even in Downing Street, with one senior figure saying his conduct was ‘gross’ and describing the apology he offered yesterday as ‘pathetic’.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘It will all be down to public opinion – it’s the only thing No 10 cares about. They’re polling, focus-grouping all the time and if that starts showing the public want him out then he could be gone by Monday.’
Another Conservative MP said: ‘It’s getting like Animal Farm: all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.’
Sayeeda Warsi, a former Conservative Party chairman, attacked the failure to sack Mr Hancock, saying: ‘It’s a bad decision by Matt and a bad decision by the PM.
Matt Hancock smiles and laughs at his alleged lover as they leave the BBC after appearing on the Marr show in June
A solemn Martha Hancock walks the couple’s dog near their north London home today as he husband admitted he had ‘let people down’ but refused
‘He’s got a huge amount of questions to answer in relation to Covid contracts, access to parliament, giving out jobs. Is there anything anybody could do any more which would make them resign?’
Mr Hancock said: ‘I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances.
‘I have let people down and am very sorry. I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter.’
And backing him Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters: ‘You have seen the Health Secretary’s statement and so I would point you to that, I don’t really have anything further to add.
‘He accepts that he has broken the social distancing guidelines. The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary’s apology and considers the matter closed.’
He added ‘all the correct procedures were followed’ in hiring Ms Coladangelo, who is paid £15,000 for around 15 days work per year.