BA stays silent over 'spy' claim

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The Independent Online
British Airways has declined to comment on allegations that a close aide to Lord King, the airline's president, hired private investigators to check on staff and journalists.

The Sunday Times claims a former Metropolitan Police officer was hired by intermediaries paid by Ian Johnson, a personal security adviser to Lord King. The paper says its allegation of 'covert surveillance' to seek a suspected 'mole' inside BA will fuel the bitter row between Lord King and Richard Branson, head of Virgin Atlantic. Mr Branson, has accused Lord King of carrying out a dirty tricks campaign and the two men have begun libel proceedings against each other.

A British Airways spokesman said: 'All I can say is that BA has employed Ian Johnson Associates as security consultants for six years. Their remit is to provide advice on personal security for the board and senior executives.'