BBC apologizes to Queen for leaking concern about failure to arrest Abu Hamza

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 26, 2012 06:53 hrs

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has apologized to Queen Elizabeth II for revealing her concerns over the failure of British officials to arrest radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza.

The apology comes after security correspondent Frank Gardner told BBC Radio 4 of a private conversation he had had with the Queen some years ago.

The BBC said it and Gardner were sorry for the 'breach of confidence', which both 'deeply regret'.

"This morning on the Today programme, our correspondent Frank Gardner revealed details of a private conversation which took place some years ago with the Queen," the BBC said in a statement.

"The conversation should have remained private, and the BBC and Frank deeply regret this breach of confidence. It was wholly inappropriate. Frank is extremely sorry for the embarrassment caused and has apologised to the Palace," the statement added.

According to the report, Gardner said the Queen had told him she had spoken to a former home secretary about the case.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said it would 'never comment on private conversations involving any member of the Royal Family'.

The Home Office said it would not comment on such conversations.

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett said 'categorically' that the Queen never raised the issue of Abu Hamza with him.

"Not surprisingly," he said, adding: "because my views and attitude in relation to this individual were very well known."

According to the report, Abu Hamza is wanted for plotting to set up a terrorist training camp in the United States, and was involved in the kidnapping of Western hostages in Yemen. (ANI)

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