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No. 10 ‘knows who leaked Hancock kiss pictures’ – but rules out probe

Downing Street has ruled out an inquiry amid fears the culprit could ‘claim to be a whistleblower’

Downing Street believes it has identified the person who leaked CCTV images of Matt Hancock kissing his aide – but will not launch an inquiry.

The Government is said to have ruled out a probe amid fears the culprit could claim they were a whistle-blower exposing wrongdoing.

It was initially believed the incriminating pictures were snapped by someone using a long lens camera in a building opposite Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) headquarters.

But now the department believes it was leaked by an employee.

The decision not to pursue a probe into the leak was made on Friday morning at a meeting attended by Mr Hancock, Department of Health and Social Care permanent secretary, Sir Chris Womald, and the department’s head of security, according to The Guardian.

Mr Hancock resigned as Health Secretary tonight after coming under fire for his alleged affair with DHSC non-executive director, Gina Coladangelo.

He is said to have told wife of 15 years, Martha, their marriage is over two days ago – after learning the pictures of his indiscretion were about to be splashed on the front page of The Sun.  

Mr Hancock woke up his youngest child to tell them he was moving out, reports suggest.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 01: Health Secretary Matt Hancock followed by Gina Coladangelo, aide to the Health Secretary and Non-Executive Director at the Department of Health and Social Care, leave 10 Downing Street after the daily press briefing on May 01, 2020 in London, England. Mr Hancock announced that the government's pledge to conduct 100,000 Covid-19 tests per day had been successful. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who returned to Downing Street this week after recovering from Covid-19, said the country needed to continue its lockdown measures to avoid a second spike in infections. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Matt Hancock followed by Gina Coladangelo leaving Downing Street in May last year (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A source said of the decision not to investigate the leak: ‘Imagine if that person was dismissed for leaking what any employment tribunal would be like for Matt Hancock.

‘It’s hard to justify a leak inquiry when you’ve been caught brazenly doing something like this.’

Another insider told the newspaper: ‘The thinking is that you could argue that whoever did it was a whistle-blower.

‘If someone was whistleblowing, putting sensitive information into the public domain, they deserve to be protected – that’s good practice with whistle-blowers.’

Mr Hancock quit as Health Secretary tonight and has been replaced by former Chancellor Sajid Javid (Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

And it comes as Mr Hancock and Mrs Coladangelo are expected to avoid police action for their rule-breaking kiss.

The Metropolitan Police said the extra-marital embrace ‘remains a matter for the relevant government department’, adding that officers are focused on ‘live incidents’.  

But Mr Hancock has been branded a ‘massive lying hypocrite’ by one Cabinet source for his behaviour.

He stepped down after three Conservative MPs broke ranks to demand he quit.

Tory stalwart Sir Christopher Chope told how his constituents were ‘absolutely seething’ after making sacrifices, including not seeing their loved ones, to find ‘the person who was in charge feels free to not comply with his own regulations’.

Hancock slammed Professor Neil Ferguson, of the Government’s Sage advisory committee, after it emerged he met his lover during lockdown in May 2020.

The former Health Secretary – now replaced by Sajid Javid – apologised and admitted breaching social distancing rules.

Lawyers say he could have broken the law regarding coronavirus restrictions amid concerns he may have also breached the ministerial code.

A Downing Street spokesperson said it would not comment on security matters for ‘obvious reasons’ and directed reporters to the DHSC.

Metro.co.uk has contacted the DHSC for comment.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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