The Information Commissioner’s Office closed their investigation into the Department for Health CCTV leak that saw Hancock’s snog with then-aide Gina Coladangelo splashed on the front page of The Sun. The ICO announced this afternoon that their investigation had found “insufficient evidence to prosecute two people suspected of unlawfully obtaining and disclosing CCTV footage from the Department for Health and Social Care”. They shouldn’t have been investigating anyway…
“Forensic analysis revealed that the leaked images were most likely obtained by someone recording the CCTV footage screens with a mobile phone.
Six phones retrieved during the execution of search warrants did not contain the relevant CCTV footage. After taking legal advice, the ICO concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with criminal offences under the Data Protection Act 2018.
The ICO has therefore closed its criminal investigation.”
The Sun’s Harry Cole had previously accused the ICO investigation of being a further move along the “systematic decay of freedom of the press”. All kiss, no tell…
Matt Hancock has finally spoken out about his affair with Gina Coladangelo, and it’s not exactly an easy watch. Appearing on The Diary of a CEO podcast with Stephen Bartlett, Hancock claimed he “fell in love” with Coladangelo “quite quickly” – something which was, apparently, “completely outside of [his] control”. That’s the power of love…
Inevitably Hancock was uncomfortable with the topic, clearly unhappy at Bartlett referring to the affair as “casual sex”. He repeatedly asks Bartlett to restart the segment by asking the questions “in a little bit more respectful way”, and seems to think the moment would be edited out of the final interview. It wasn’t.
Finally regaining his composure, Hancock says:
“They weren’t actually rules. They weren’t the law. But that’s not the point. The point is they were the guidelines that I’d been proposing. And that happened because I fell in love with somebody…”
Watch at your own discretion…
“The man for the rules, Matt Hancock!” He just can’t catch a break…
No one was happier to see Jolyon apologise yesterday than Matt Hancock. A few hours after Jolyon admitted he and the Good Law Project didn’t actually, win their case, Hancock released his own statement on Twitter “welcoming” Jolyon’s apology and encouraging the “discredited” Project to accept their legal fights are “a waste of the court’s time“. Inevitably teeing up this week’s bitch fight…
Jolyon immediately batted back with his usual grace and decorum by calling Hancock a “sleazy little man”, although the tweet appears to have since been deleted. Fortunately Hancock kept the receipts…
This reply discredits you yet further. Time to apologise again. Good people were working hard to respond to an unprecedented pandemic.— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) February 16, 2022
You know the “pub landlord” accusation is also completely false.
It’s time to put Twitter down & stop resorting to personal abuse. pic.twitter.com/GTULhXWP7H
Clearly seeing red, Jolyon decided to stop responding to Hancock directly and instead go on a four-tweet rant on his own profile – at one point comparing Hancock and Lord Bethell to Batman & Robin:
Anyway, Sun Tzu updated, we have now watched the political careers of Hancock, and Bethell, Robin to his Batman, rightly float past us down the river and so we should talk of them no more.— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) February 17, 2022
As always, Guido leaves it to co-conspirators to pick the winner…
Over the weekend Guido noticed the former Health Minister looking for a new Communications Officer to undertake his media and press activities. The advert said he wants someone to be “pro-active and re-active communications with all media”, and to create content for social media and assist with wider communication activities. Possibly spurred on by yet more embarrassing headlines over the weekend that he is to write a £100,000 autobiography called entitled “How I Won the Covid War”?
Matt also wants the prospective hire to “Establish, monitor and update” social media, which is surely a mammoth and hardly heartening task.
Unusually, Hancock gave prospective applicants just 24 hours to apply after publishing the ad on Saturday, and closing it on Sunday. Was Matt actually offering fair competition for the job or did he already have a mate in mind? He’d surely avoid giving preferential contract treatment to mates…
Matt Hancock has written to IPSO demanding they protect his children by stopping the publishing of the picture of him and Gina Coladangelo snogging in his Ministerial office:
I am writing to ask your help to protect my children, following widespread media coverage of my personal life in the last few months.
Now, more than three months after my resignation as Secretary of State, there is no longer any public interest whatsoever in any publication about my private life, or the private life of my partner Gina Coladangelo or either of our families. While a perfectly reasonable case could have been made while I was in Government, there is clearly now no public interest case for invasion of our privacy. I am grateful to the many publications that no longer carry such inappropriate material.
Over the past two days pictures have been published of Gina and I on a private visit abroad. There was no public interest case in doing so. We have also been approached by members of the press relating to our private lives.
Specifically, there is no public interest justification for continued publication of the photograph and video first published that led to my resignation. The continued publication of this picture and video is causing significant harm to our children.
I would therefore request that all media outlets:
– cease publication of any material relating to our private lives, whether photographic or written
– cease publication of the past photograph and video
None of the parties with any knowledge of our private lives will be commenting to the media on these matters in the foreseeable future.
I would be grateful if you could alert IPSO members to our very clear position on this matter, and reinforce the importance of your members’ adherence to the Editors’ Code.
That horse has bolted through the office doorway. As for the video of Matt and Gina in Split which was circulating widely on social media after a holidaying Briton spotted them and whipped their smartphone out, asking IPSO to intervene would not make any difference. More importantly, as Matt told parliament after the Leveson Inquiry, when he was the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:
“Over many centuries in Britain, our press has held the powerful to account and been free to report and investigate without fear or favour. These principles underpin our democracy and are integral to our freedom as a nation.”
The harm done to his children was, as he must know in his heart, a consequence of his own actions. The pictorial reminder disappearing from the papers won’t change that…