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Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 08:30 GMT
Mirror defiant over palace story
Buckingham Palace
The Mirror says it exposed security flaws at Buckingham Palace
The Daily Mirror has said its recent revelations about the daily lives of the Royals are in the public interest.

Editor Piers Morgan said the paper had done the Queen a favour by exposing "the most serious security breach ever".

Mirror writer Ryan Parry got a job as a footman at Buckingham Palace with a false reference, and has been regaling readers with details about palace life.

The Queen was granted an injunction on any further details, after she said he had broken a confidentiality agreement.

Mr Morgan said: "The fact is that the Daily Mirror, by common consent, has exposed the most serious security breach ever involving the Royal Family.

"We have acted at all times in the public interest and have been completely open about the subterfuge we deployed, and why we deployed it.

I hope that over time the Royal Household will realise that Ryan Parry has done them a massive favour in highlighting this devastating lapse in their security system
Piers Morgan
Daily Mirror editor

"Terrorists are not renowned for their honesty in filling in application forms for jobs like this.

"I hope that over time the Royal Household will realise that Ryan Parry has done them a massive favour in highlighting this devastating lapse in their security system."

Mr Parry's identity was revealed by the paper the same day US President George Bush arrived in the UK for a state visit.

Mr Bush has been staying in Buckingham Palace, and the Mirror showed pictures of the bedroom used by Mr Bush and his wife.

Other pictures included photos of the Queen's breakfast table, complete with Tupperware boxes of cereal, the Earl and Countess of Wessex's suite and the Duke of York's bedroom.

'Flagrant breach'

The injunction, which applies to all the media, was granted on Thursday until Monday afternoon, to give Mirror lawyers a chance to prepare their case for a full hearing.

David Pannick QC, representing the Attorney General for the Queen, told Mr Justice Lewison the palace was seeking an injunction because of the "flagrant breach" of a contractual obligation to maintain confidentiality.

He said Mr Parry had signed a confidentiality clause when he took the job, undertaking not to reveal to any unauthorised person "any information whatsoever whether of an official of personal nature" concerning any member of the Royal Family or Royal Household, unless authorised to do so.

He also said the personal nature of the details published were "obvious and unjustified intrusions" of privacy.

President Bush with the Queen

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman later said: "We sought this injunction in order to protect personal privacy and we are satisfied with the progress made this afternoon."

Former royal spokesman Dickie Arbiter told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "They cannot do all the checks.

"They go onto the police and the security services and you have got to ask yourself, 'How good are those checks?'

"Any serious check would have thrown up the fact he was a Mirror reporter.

"They have done the palace a favour in exposing a very serious flaw in the way they employ people.

"But it has gone beyond that.

Pictures of bedrooms are not in the public interest
Former royal spokesman Dickie Arbiter

"It has become an invasion of privacy.

"The Queen can quite justifiably say, 'I have been burgled.

"'My privacy has been stolen.'

"Pictures of the breakfast table are not in the public interest.

"Pictures of bedrooms are not in the public interest."

Mr Parry says he got the job after responding to an advertisement on a recruitment page of the Buckingham Palace official website.

On his CV, he left out any mention of his journalistic career and included one fake reference and a real one, the newspaper claimed.

An inquiry has been set up by the home secretary to look into palace security, and is expected to give its interim findings before Christmas.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's June Kelly
"The Queen's lawyers insisted she wasn't claiming any special rights for her and her family"



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