The BBC has been forced to issue a grovelling apology after its security correspondent Frank Gardner divulged her private thoughts on hook handed cleric Abu Hamza.
Speaking live on-air Gardner let slip that the Queen had confided in him her exasperation with the inability of successive British governments to deport him, going so far as to raise the issue with a home secretary.
The gaffe led BBC News coverage for hours but had to be pulled hours later owing to the ‘wholly inappropriate’ breach of confidence.
Speaking on the Today programme Gardner said: ““The Queen was pretty upset that there was no way to arrest him. She couldn’t understand – surely there must be some law that he broke.
“Well, sure enough there was. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to seven years for soliciting murder and racial hatred.
“She spoke to the home secretary at the time and said, ‘Surely this man must have broken some laws, my goodness, why is he still at large?'"
Hamza is expected to be extradited to the US within days – eight years after being arrested.