Teen charged with killing 2-year-old in Mankato | #dating | #elderly | #seniors
Security fears after BBC reveals that Boris Johnson’s phone number can be found online
A BBC report highlighting that Boris Johnson’s mobile number could be found online was not “appropriate”, a Home Office minister has suggested amid security concerns. The Prime Minister’s number was at the bottom of a press release published in 2006 when he was a junior shadow minister. It is thought to have remained online for the past 15 years. The gossip newsletter Popbitch first discovered the document and dropped hints about Mr Johnson’s phone number in its weekly email on Thursday. The BBC then ran a report about the story, sparking criticism from Victoria Atkins, the safeguarding minister. “I’m slightly surprised that a national broadcaster felt it appropriate to advertise the fact that that mobile phone is on the internet,” she told Times Radio. Lord Ricketts, a former national security adviser, warned that “hundreds, if not thousands” of people could have the number, including hostile actors and criminal gangs with “sophisticated cyber capabilities”. He said the easy availability of the number had put Mr Johnson at “increased risk” of snooping. But Ms Atkins insisted: “The Prime Minister, more than anyone, knows his responsibilities when it comes to national security.” Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, leapt to Mr Johnson’s defence, saying “all security protocols have been followed”. He added that Mr Johnson was an “incredibly approachable individual” and people “feel they can relate to him, they can talk to him, they can tell him what’s on their mind”. In recent weeks, a row over the direct access foreign leaders and business tycoons have enjoyed to Mr Johnson via his mobile phone has engulfed Downing Street. Critics have described the phenomenon as “WhatsApp Government”. The controversy was sparked by the revelation that both the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the entrepreneur Sir James Dyson had texted Mr Johnson last year to lobby him. The Telegraph reported earlier this month that Simon Case, the Cabinet Secretary, advised Mr Johnson to change his long-held phone number due to concerns about how widely known it was and the ability for individuals to lobby him. Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said the publication of the phone number online was a “security risk”, adding: “I think a lot of people will be concerned, not just about who’s got the number but who’s been using it.” Sir Richard Dearlove, a former head of MI6, said the security concerns over Mr Johnson’s phone were “not a unique problem” due to the “nature of political life”. Speaking before the reports about Mr Johnson’s number being online emerged, the ex-intelligence chief told LBC: “Politicians and phones have always been a problem. Every single politician I have ever known, foreign and British, have used their phones in a way which probably is unwise.” The Telegraph approached the BBC for comment.