Labour MP Chris Bryant was among those to question the logic behind cabinet office minister Julia Lopez’s assertion that the camera in Matt Hancock’s office was not covert.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Bryant said: “If that’s true, he [Matt Hancock] must be the stupidest man on Earth.”

Steve Brine, Conservative MP for Winchester and former minister in the Department of Health, said: “No one ever told me that our meetings were being observed.”