MI5 officer to give evidence on 7/7

A "very senior" MI5 officer will give evidence anonymously at the inquest into the 7/7 London bombings after a ruling by the coroner yesterday. Lady Justice Hallett granted an application by Home Secretary Theresa May to protect the identity of the witness.

But she refused to rule that he or she should be screened from the bereaved families. Witness G is to give evidence on whether the 2005 attacks that killed 56 and wounded 700 could have been prevented.

Giving her decision at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Lady Hallett said: "The bereaved families have been waiting over five years to see this witness or a witness from the security service give evidence. The issue of preventability is exceedingly important to them. It has been at the heart of most of their submissions to me ever since my appointment as coroner."

She said she was confident that it would make a "considerable difference" to the bereaved families to be able to see the witness give evidence "rather than hear the evidence come from a disembodied voice".