Palace investigating security breach
Sunday 24 May 2009
Buckingham Palace said today it was investigating a report that undercover journalists were able to enter the Queen's London residence and sit in her car after bribing a royal chauffeur.
The Royal chauffeur Brian Sirjusingh has been suspended pending an investigation.
The tabloid News of The World said two of its reporters posing as Middle East businessmen paid £1,000 to the chauffeur to evade security checks at the palace.
The paper said the story exposed lax security at the palace. "We could have been al-Qaeda, we could have had a bomb or at least a tracking device," it said.
It said the chauffeur took them to a garage storing Bentley and Rolls-Royce limousines used by the royal family and even let a reporter sit in one of the vehicles.
A palace spokesman said officials would study what had happened. "Any security matter is taken very seriously and we will look into these allegations," she said.
Police said they would discuss the matter with royal staff. "We are naturally concerned about the issues raised by this story and are liaising with palace officials about their staff security arrangements," a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said.
Royal residences have suffered a number of high-profile security breaches in recent years, prompting the appointment of a security supremo after Daily Mirror reporter Ryan Parry spent two months in 2003 working undercover at Buckingham Palace.
He was employed as a footman, walking the queen's corgi dogs and serving her drinks, despite having applied for the job with a false reference.
An official security report following that incident concluded that the most likely threats came from the press or individuals trying to test security measures. But it warned that weaknesses could also be exploited by terrorists.
Earlier the same year Aaron Barschak had evaded security at Windsor Castle west of London wearing a pink dress and an Osama bin Laden-styled beard to gatecrash the 21st birthday party of Prince William, second-in-line for the throne.
In 1982 unemployed labourer Michael Fagan scaled a Buckingham Palace drainpipe to enter the queen's bedroom. He sat chatting with her for 10 minutes before she was able to summon help.
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...