BBC writes letter of apology to Buckingham Palace in wake of Frank Gardner interview

During Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner revealed the details of a private conversation between the Queen and a Cabinet Minister which took place in 2005.

The Queen is believed to have been discussing the case of Abu Hamza, an extremist cleric who was fighting extradition but, at the time, was still at liberty and spreading messages of hatred.

Gardner claimed she had spoken of her frustration over the case stating: “This is a conversation we had a little while ago and she (Queen) did say that she had mentioned to - I don't know which Home Secretary it was at the time - that was there not some law he had broken?

“I wouldn't say she was necessarily lobbying, that's not for me to say, but like anybody she was upset that her country and her subjects had been denigrated by this man who was using this country as a platform for his very violent, hateful views.”

A BBC spokesman was quick to apologise for Gardner’s comments, stating: “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.”

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