LONDON - A British newspaper reporter infiltrated Buckingham Palace ahead of U.S. President George W. Bush's state visit, using a fake reference to get job on the royal staff, and was assigned to serve members of Bush's party in an embarrassing breach of security revealed today.
Buckingham Palace was conducting a "full investigation," a royal spokeswoman said. Home Secretary David Blunkett, whose department is responsible for law and order, said, "We are satisfied that both the security and the criminal records checks were done robustly and correctly and that there was no risk from this individual."
He emphasized that the Daily Mirror reporter had lied only about his work history. Blunkett said officials had resolved problems with physical security at the royal palaces, but conceded the failure to fully check the reporter's background "is a breach and it needs to be closed."
He added that the independent Security Commission would also review the apparent gap.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, asked about the report in the House of Commons, said, "I think it's important that we establish the facts first."
Goodness me, has young Tone has a Damascus Road conversion?!