The Prime Minister was caught on film passing her handbag to the burly civil servant, believed to be Ollie Robbins, as she went on a walkabout with EU leaders for Brexit talks.
Mr Robbins, who is thought to be 6ft 3inches, was filmed quickly hiding the small black handbag behind his own briefcase as the Prime Minister rushed off for talks with EU leaders.
Smiling, the aide appeared embarrassed to be caught on camera toting the handbag as Theresa May walked off with Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat.
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Mr Robbins is permanent secretary to the Brexit department and is responsible for supporting the department in negotiations for Britain to leave the EU and for establishing future relations with the bloc.
He was previously second permanent secretary at Mrs May’s old department the Home Office and had responsibility for immigration and free movement policy, and oversight of the borders, immigration and citizenship system.
Theresa May carried her handbag as she first spoke to the Malta PM
The Prime Minister left a senior civil servant red-faced as she passed him her handbag
The clip comes as the Prime Minister was forced to fence her close relationship with the Trump administration as she urged her European counterparts to be patient with the new US President.
European leaders at the summit in Valletta warned they would not let the controversial tycoon "trample" on their values and played down the role Mrs May could play as a bridge between the EU and US.
The civil servant smiled as he hid the handbag under his own belongings
The Prime Minister walked off leaving the civil servant holding her bag
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A hoped-for formal meeting with Angela Merkel was replaced by a lengthy discussion as the pair walked through Valletta before the working lunch.
Aides insisted that the talks "covered everything they had wanted to discuss".
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
But the German Chancellor said the conversation did not touch on the UK's relationship with the Trump administration: "We spoke, but not about that. I believe there is always a special relationship between Great Britain and the USA."
Mrs Merkel said: "I am pleased that Theresa May has said that she wants a strong Europe. She repeated that once again today."
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