The former Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has warned on Sunday that Hancock’s office being filmed could “possibly” be a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
The Department of Health will be investigating this and there will also be issues for British “intelligence agencies” who will “want to look at [this] very carefully.”
Hunt who is the chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee warned that conversations between MPs and top officials must be protected in secure offices so that nothing can “be leaked to hostile powers.”
Hunt told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, “It’s completely unacceptable from a security point of view that ministers are being filmed inside their own offices without their knowledge.
“And so there’ll be issues that our intelligence agencies will want to look at very, very carefully.
“But there’s also another issue which is that ministers do need to have the ability to have frank, private conversations with their senior officials to debate things, so that they can understand issues, and know that those conversations will remain private if they’re going to be able to go through the thought processes that enable them to make the right decisions and so I think that will also be something on the minds of government ministers today.”
Hunt also warned that the leak of the video showing Hancock passionately kissing his aide had “possibly” been a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
He added, “We have, rightly in this country as a democracy, as an open society, protection for whistleblowers who find things out and release them in the public interest and we don’t want to undermine that, it’s very important part of how we work.
“But I do think we need to understand how this happened, and to make sure that ministers are secure in their offices, to be able to have conversations that they know aren’t going to be leaked to hostile powers.”
The Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis told Marr, “The Department of Health will be investigating this, quite rightly, to understand how this was able to happen.
“Put aside what’s on the pictures, the fact that it was leaked at all is something they do need to investigate.”
He added, “I’m sure it’s something that the team will be looking at across government, I have to say I always take the view it’s best to assume that everything you’re saying or putting in writing is going to be reported somewhere, Andrew.”