Days after the new Tory Government announced proposals to strengthen UK security against foreign spies and hackers top secret planning documents of MI6 Headquarters have gone missing in a shocking security gaffe. More than 100 papers, detailing layout and security measures, vanished from the building.
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The secret documents were supposed to have been kept in a secure room during work at the HQ of the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) — better known as MI6.
Access was said to have been limited to a small number of supervisors overseeing the refurb. But the alarm was raised a fortnight ago when stacks of the documents vanished at the building, which has featured in several James Bond films and was “destroyed” in Spectre.
Furious chiefs investigated before terminating Balfour Beatty’s contract on the multi-million pound refurbishment project. The whole building went into lockdown and all the construction workers were kept in isolation.
The papers were not classified, but were deemed to be highly sensitive due to their content. The documents showed the layout of the building and specifically where alarms and other security measures were. They would be gold dust to any enemy agents or terrorists.
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Senior executives from Balfour Beatty were brought in to explain the breach. Many were later found still inside the building at Vauxhall Cross, South London. Some remain missing although spymasters are said to be confident they are not in enemy hands. However, a decision was taken to terminate Balfour Beatty’s contract.
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The source told The Sun newspaper who reported the breach: “A lot of the work was sub-contracted and there were around 40 workers on the job. Security was supposed to be incredibly tight. Workers and vehicles delivering materials were thoroughly searched. The importance of security was drummed into the contractors — but clearly not taken on board.”
Also known as Babylon on Thames, the 252,497 sq ft block was designed by architect Terry Farrell and Partners. It was inspired by 1930s modernist structures such as Battersea Power Station and Mayan and Aztec religious temples.
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