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Entrepreneur ‘provided photos of Matt Hancock’s clinch with aide to journalist 5 days earlier than’

The leak of CCTV footage exposing Matt Hancock’s affair might have been a part of a politically motivated plot to oust him, it emerged final evening.

In a dramatic twist, it was claimed {that a} ‘extremely profitable’ anti-lockdown entrepreneur had allegedly provided the compromising photos to a outstanding political journalist 5 days earlier than they had been revealed.

It raises the prospect that the leak of the footage – which confirmed the previous well being secretary breaking his personal social distancing guidelines – might have been motivated by opposition to his stance on Covid.

The supply of the pictures has been the topic of fevered hypothesis since they had been first revealed on the finish of final week.

The CCTV footage, apparently from a digicam inside Mr Hancock’s non-public Division of Well being workplace, confirmed him kissing his adviser Gina Coladangelo at a time when hugging anybody from outdoors your family was banned.

The leak of CCTV footage exposing Matt Hancock’s affair might have been a part of a politically motivated plot to oust him, it emerged final evening

It had been speculated that the pictures got here from a rogue safety guard or ‘whistleblower’ worker on the division who had entry to the footage after which contacted the nationwide newspaper that revealed them straight.

However final evening political journalist and broadcaster Isabel Oakeshott revealed she had been despatched a grainy shot of the CCTV clip by ‘an anti-establishment determine with a dim view of politicians on the whole and a specific disdain for the architects of the lockdown coverage’.

Writing in The Spectator, she described this particular person as a ‘extremely profitable entrepreneur’ who ‘would have relished his half in exposing Hancock’s hypocrisy’.

However she mentioned she mistakenly dismissed the footage as faux and that the ‘contact’ who provided it agreed that the unique vendor was ‘most likely a chancer’.

Miss Oakeshott is in a relationship with Richard Tice, a founding father of the Go away Means Go away marketing campaign. There isn’t any suggestion of any wrongdoing by Mr Tice, who leads Reform UK, a celebration that campaigns to revive pre-Covid freedoms. He revealed final evening he had examined the clip after Miss Oakeshott handed it to him however he believed it was ‘doctored’.

Mr Tice mentioned: ‘The footage was doctored, there isn’t any query. For those who look carefully you see a pair of arms when he’s not touching her. It’s not his arms.

‘We noticed that and thought one thing just isn’t proper. The footage got here to Isabel and we each agreed it wasn’t proper. The affair is clearly proper however there’s something not proper about that footage.’

In a dramatic twist, it was claimed that a ¿highly successful¿ anti-lockdown entrepreneur had allegedly offered the compromising images of Hancock and adviser Gina Coladangelo (pictured left) to a prominent political journalist five days before they were published

In a dramatic twist, it was claimed {that a} ‘extremely profitable’ anti-lockdown entrepreneur had allegedly provided the compromising photos of Hancock and adviser Gina Coladangelo (pictured left) to a outstanding political journalist 5 days earlier than they had been revealed

The footage initially got here from an electronic mail account on Protonmail, a service that gives end-to-end encryption. It’s understood it was first provided on the market 5 days earlier than the story was revealed in a nationwide newspaper.

It raises the prospect that the member of employees who leaked the clip could have used a politically motivated middleman to promote it in a bid to cowl their tracks.

Final evening the corporate accountable for safety within the constructing on Victoria Road confirmed for the primary time it was serving to the Division of Well being and Social Care with its probe into the leak. However Emcor UK – which has supplied safety for delicate buildings together with the top-secret Porton Down laboratory – refused to say if any of its employees had been questioned or suspended.

The pool of safety employees who had entry to the CCTV footage within the Division of Well being is regarded as small and there’s prone to be a digital report of those that considered it and will have been capable of surreptitiously report it on their telephone.

MPs and safety specialists have known as for a police inquiry into the safety breach amid considerations that the Whitehall investigation won’t have the ability or experience to uncover the reality.

It raises the prospect 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

It raises the prospect that the leak of the footage – which confirmed the previous well being secretary breaking his personal social distancing guidelines – might have been motivated by opposition to his stance on Covid

Labour MP Chris Bryant mentioned yesterday it was ‘preposterous’ that the investigation was being performed by the Division of Well being, which ‘has no aptitude on this area, no expertise and no powers – it’s weird’.

He added that he had no confidence the probe would uncover the reality and demanded a full parliamentary inquiry.

The investigation, which is being supported by Whitehall specialists from the Authorities Safety Group on the Cupboard Workplace, will have a look at whether or not the CCTV digicam put in within the non-public workplace at the least 4 years in the past had been tampered with.

Cameras used within the constructing are produced by Hikvision, a Chinese language agency banned within the US over considerations that it may very well be utilized by Beijing as a spying device.

The corporate denies the declare, saying there isn’t any proof that its knowledge is relayed to China.

Former Met counter-terrorism detective David Videcette, who has uncovered documentation about cameras within the constructing, mentioned yesterday the police ought to get entangled if legal offences are uncovered.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed that it isn’t investigating the matter.

r.camber@dailymail.co.uk

Anger as PM dismisses furore as ‘Westminster bubble’ challenge

Boris Johnson confronted criticism yesterday as he dismissed anger over Matt Hancock’s lockdown breach as a ‘Westminster bubble’ challenge.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Keir Starmer raised the case of Ollie Bibby, who died of leukaemia in hospital on Could 5, a day earlier than the previous well being secretary was filmed kissing a feminine aide.

His mom, Penny, has instructed of her anguish at how she and her husband had been prevented from seeing their 27-year-old son in his remaining weeks.

Within the Commons yesterday, the Labour chief quoted Mrs Bibby, who mentioned: ‘I’m furious. We did the whole lot we had been instructed to do and the person that made the principles didn’t. How can that be proper?’ Sir Keir mentioned: 

‘Ollie died, like so many different folks on this pandemic, together with his household and buddies unable to spend time with him. When he was in hospital he begged to see his household. However following the principles, just one member of his household was allowed to see him.’

Boris Johnson faced criticism yesterday as he dismissed anger over Matt Hancock¿s lockdown breach as a ¿Westminster bubble¿ issue

Boris Johnson confronted criticism yesterday as he dismissed anger over Matt Hancock’s lockdown breach as a ‘Westminster bubble’ challenge

In his response, Mr Johnson mentioned: ‘All of us share the grief and the ache of Ollie and his household and hundreds of thousands of individuals up and down the nation who’ve endured the privations that this nation has been via to be able to get the coronavirus pandemic underneath management and that’s the reason we had a change of well being secretary the day after the story appeared. And that’s the reason truly what we’re doing as a authorities, as an alternative of specializing in stuff occurring inside the Westminster bubble, we’re specializing in rolling out vaccines at a charge that can ensure that folks like Ollie and his household should not have to endure sooner or later.’

Mrs Bibby, of South Benfleet in Essex, instructed the BBC: ‘Boris Johnson simply dismissed the query, he prevented answering it fully, which made us really feel like we’re not vital.’

The Prime Minister’s press secretary mentioned: ‘The purpose he was making was that Starmer was specializing in [Hancock] when he left authorities 5 days in the past and there are clearly vital challenges dealing with the nation round jobs, schooling, Covid restoration.’

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