David Cameron downplays hoax call: 'These things happen'

Cameron was walking with his family in his constituency when the call took place

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The Independent Online

David Cameron has brushed aside security concerns at Downing Street after a hoax caller, posing as the director of GCHQ, was put through to the prime minister.

A call to Britain's eavesdropping agency led to the disclosure of a private number for director Robert Hannigan. Another hoax call was made to Downing Street and saw the caller put through directly to Cameron. Number 10 said the caller claimed to be Hannigan.

It is not known if the same person was behind both hoaxes, but the man claiming responsibility for the call to GCHQ told The Sun that he was "off my face on booze and cocaine."

With security procedures being reviewed at both No 10 and GCHQ, Cameron appeared to downplay any major concerns about security at the highest levels of government during a campaign event in Hampshire.

 He said that national security was not breached and that "it is important when these happen to make sure we do everything we can to put in place systems to weed out hoax calls. But every now and again I suspect these things will happen."

Explaining the day when he received the hoax phone call, Cameron said he was walking with his family in his Oxfordshire constituency Witney when his BlackBerry rang.

"I answered it and it claimed to be a conference call, which I do obviously very frequently between the head of GCHQ and some of the staff in my office" Cameron said.

"A voice came through, a voice I didn't recognise. The voice said that he was sorry to wake me up, which I thought was strange as it was 11 o’clock in the morning. So I quite rapidly asked, 'Who is this?' To which the answer came, 'It is a hoax call'. So, I pushed the red button on the BlackBerry which ended the call.

"That was what happened. So no harm was done, no national security was breached."