Inquiry calls after MI6 chief’s facebook details

Author: PA

Lady Shelley Sawers disclosed potentially compromising information, including
the location of the London flat used by the couple and the whereabouts of
their three children and of Sir John’s parents on the social networking
site, The Mail on Sunday reported.

The details, which were removed after the newspaper contacted the Foreign
Office, also revealed the couple’s friendships with actors Moir Leslie and
Alister Cameron.

Lady Sawers’ half-brother, Hugo Haig-Thomas, a former diplomat, was said to be
among those featured in family photographs on Facebook.

Mr Haig-Thomas was an associate and researcher for controversial historian
David Irving, who was jailed for three years in Austria in 2006 after
pleading guilty to Holocaust denial, the paper reported.

Lady Sawers put no privacy protection on her account, allowing any of
Facebook’s 200 million users in the open-access “London” network
to see the entries, the paper said.

Senior politicians said the security lapse raised concerns about Sir John’s
ability to take up his post as chief of the Secret Intelligence Service in
November, giving him responsibility for Britain’s overseas spying
operations.

Edward Davy, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, called on Gordon
Brown to launch an inquiry into the matter.

He told the paper: “Normally, I would welcome greater openness in
Government for officials or politicians but this type of exposure verges on
the reckless.

“The Prime Minister should immediately commission an internal inquiry as
to whether this has breached the security of the incoming head of MI6 too
seriously to allow him to take up the post.”

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, chairman of the counter-terrorism
sub-committee, told the paper the MI6 chief had left himself open to
blackmail.

He said: “Sir John Sawers is in a very sensitive position and by
revealing this sort of material his family have left him open to criticism
and blackmail.

“As a long-serving diplomat and ambassador, his whole family have been
involved in his line of business for decades. I would have hoped they would
have been much more sensitive to potential security compromises like this.”

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