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Computers seized in probe of UK minister's affair leak

In this photo taken on May 16, 2021, Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock, right walks with aide Gina Coladangelo, outside BBC Broadcasting House in London after his appearance on the BBC1 current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show. Hancock has apologized for breaching social distancing rules after a newspaper ran pictures of him embracing a woman with whom he allegedly had an affair. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement that “I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances." He said “I have let people down and am very sorry.” The tabloid Sun newspaper reported Friday, June 25, 2021 that Hancock had an extramarital affair with a senior aide, Gina Coladangelo. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
July 15, 2021 - 8:26 AM

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s information watchdog seized computer equipment Thursday during raids at two homes as it investigates how footage of a government minister kissing an aide made it onto the front page of a tabloid newspaper.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock quit last month for breaching pandemic social distancing rules by having an affair with Gina Coladangelo while living with his wife. The affair was revealed when The Sun newspaper published images taken by a camera in Hancock’s office.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating the case as a potential violation of the Data Protection Act. It says the company that supplies the cameras to the Department of Health, Emcor Group, alleges that the images were taken from its system without consent.

The Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton, says the newspaper got the footage from “an angry whistleblower.”

The Information Commissioner’s Office says investigators seized “personal computer equipment and electronic devices” in raids on two homes in southern England.

Hancock, who had led Britain’s response to the coronavirus for more than a year, was one of a string of U.K. officials to be accused of breaching restrictions they imposed on the rest of the population.

News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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