28 June 2021
Philip Dunne raises concerns about eavesdropping on Ministers without their knowledge

Following the Government statement on security arrangements relating to ministerial offices and communications Philip Dunne raises concerns about sensors being used to eavesdrop on Ministers, and others who work in Government buildings, without their knowledge.

Philip Dunne (Ludlow) (Con)

Like my good and hon. Friend the Member for Winchester (Steve Brine), I joined the Department of Health in moving into this new building, 39 Victoria Street, at the end of 2017. Will the Minister ask the Department to consider in its internal investigation whether the devices were installed as part of the new build or subsequently? Will she also please develop a protocol from the Cabinet Office across Government that all Ministers, and frankly all people working in Government buildings, are notified of any official listening, visual or other sensors in their place of work, so that they are aware of it rather than, as we have been today, surprised by it?

Julia Lopez (The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office)

Those are very pertinent questions, and ones that I have asked in advance of today and to which we will all want answers. My right hon. Friend makes an important and useful suggestion when it comes to the protocol in relation to CCTV or any other device that might be found in a Minister’s office. I am sure that other Ministers across Government will want that assurance.