Contractor steals laptop of royal secrets
A contractor has been accused of stealing a laptop containing "highly sensitive" royal files from inside Buckingham Palace, Contractor UK has learnt.
The £4,000 computer was lifted from a senior aide's office inside the Queen's London home sparking a red alert among royal bodyguards.
The disappearance of the computer was reported by the red-faced aide, who told Special Branch it contains top secret email addresses, phone numbers and diaries.
News of the theft first surfaced in a Sunday tabloid, which quoted a royal security source as saying police suspected a freelance worker of grabbing it when it was left unattended.
"Dozens of contract and casual workers come and go all day long without any challenge. It would only have taken a minute to grab it and go," the source told the News of the World.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace yesterday refused to deny the laptop had been stolen.
"Any investigation is a matter for the police," the spokesman told Contractor UK.
He rejected claims that the household's contract and temporary workers could 'come and go' as they please.
"As you can appreciate with Buckingham Palace being a very busy environment, there are a significant number of contractors that are employed within the Palace.
"And as you would expect, security procedures are taken with those individuals."
Royal bodyguards have reportedly been briefed that the laptop's contents are "highly sensitive."
The security-sloppy aide said he believed investigators won't stop searching for the computer until they find who's behind its disappearance.