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Matt Hancock resigned as British health secretary on 26 June, after the emergence of an image taken from CCTV footage from inside his office that showed the married man in an illicit passionate clinch with Gina Coladangelo who is another man’s wife and mother.
Did PC Plod of The Yard mount an investigation into political corruption constantly vacuuming up billions from the public purse? No, a nationwide manhunt was launched by the police that has two purposes.
Cops want to discover who is the culprit who exposed the errant government minister who indecently exposed himself. The manhunt has the secondary purpose of sending a comforting signal to financially corrupt and sexually compromised politicians that the police will throw a cordon sanitaire around the elite to protect the corrupt from media exposure.
The British Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is in the grip of a massive public backlash following its frantic search for the Hancock scandal whistle-blower, media reports.
On Thursday, ICO officers raided two homes in the south of England, seizing computer equipment and electronic devices as part of a probe into the leaking of CCTV footage of former UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock kissing and mauling an aide in his office.
The newspaper published the image in late June. This was followed by Hancock’s resignation as he made a grovelling public apology for breaking COVID-19 social distancing restrictions with the tonguing of his mistress but not for cheating on his own wife with a married mother and wife of another man.
The newspaper’s editor, Victoria Newton, said her newspaper acted quickly after being ‘contacted by an angry whistle-blower’ on 23rd of June who claimed to have irrefutable evidence that the married secretary of state for health was breaching his own lockdown rules by having an office affair with an aide.
She added that she would ‘rather go to jail than hand the name of [the whistle-blower] over’.
The police ICO, for its part, says that it is conducting the inquiry into the leak, which runs counter to the Data Protection Act. According to the UK’s data watchdog, the Department of Health and Social Care as well as the security and property management firm Emcor had submitted a complaint, alleging that the CCTV copyright stills showing Hancock’s kisses had been taken without permission.
Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s director of investigations, underscored that: ‘It’s vital that all people, which includes the employees of government departments and members of the public who interact with them, have trust and confidence in the protection of their personal data’ (and can feel protected if they are are raiding the public purse, involved in paedophilia, bugger all and f*** you too shenanigans).
‘In these circumstances, the ICO aims to react swiftly and effectively to investigate where there is a risk that other people may have unlawfully obtained personal data. We have an ongoing investigation and will not be commenting further until it is concluded’, he added.
Some politicians, campaigners, and electors were quick to accuse the ICO of overreacting. Shadow Security Minister Conor McGinn insisted that even though ‘any illegality must be investigated’, the government should ‘ensure that whistle-blowers can continue to play their vital part in their keeping organisations accountable’.
The same tone was struck by Julian Knight, leader of the Commons Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, who said that he cannot comment on the ICO investigation, but that ‘freedom of the press and their ability where necessary to act in the public interest is a cornerstone of our democracy and we (the police) endanger it at our peril’.
The Sun also cited Sam Armstrong, of the Henry Jackson Society think tank, as calling the ICO’s actions ‘a heavy-handed attempt by a bureaucratic agency to intimidate the source of a story in the public interest’.
Armstrong was echoed by Jim Killock, executive director of the non-profit organisation Open Rights Group, who said: ‘This is a drastic step by the ICO to intervene in this case which has such obvious public interest’.
Mick Hume, a free speech campaigner, went even further by arguing that the ICO ‘is acting more like a Stasi police dog, launching morning raids on people’s homes and impounding personal computers in its desperation to hunt down the whistle-blower’.
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