BBC apology to Queen over Abu Hamza disclosure
The BBC has apologised for revealing the Queen once raised concerns with the government about why radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri had not been arrested.
The apology comes after security correspondent Frank Gardner told BBC Radio 4 details of a private conversation he had with the Queen.
The BBC said it and Gardner were sorry for the “breach of confidence”, which both “deeply regret”.
On Monday, Abu Hamza lost his latest appeal against extradition to the US.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled the extradition could go ahead. The Home Office hopes this can be achieved within three weeks.
The Strasbourg court’s decision means that the cleric and four other terrorism suspects can face terrorism trials in the US after delays going back to the late 1990s. In the case of Abu Hamza, he was first arrested in 2004.
The development was being discussed on Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday morning when Gardner revealed details of his conversation with the Queen on the matter.
He said the monarch had told him, in a private meeting, how she had been upset that Abu Hamza could not be arrested.
The radical cleric had risen to prominence for his sermons in and around Finsbury Park mosque, which gained wide media attention for their content.
Gardner said the Queen had told him she had spoken to a former home secretary about the case.
In a statement, the BBC said: “This morning on the Today programme our correspondent Frank Gardner revealed details of a private conversation which took place some years ago with the Queen.
Why apologise? I rather pleased the conversation was reported because it shows that maybe her Royal Biddiness is worth the royal upkeep.
It certainly shows that she is concerned about England, regardless what the Republicans have said about a PR stunt.
It also shows that my own opinion as to why he wasn’t arrested and tried for British offences committed in Britain weren’t tried in Britain is shared by the top echelons.
It is becoming more and more apparent that Britain is nothing more than a puppet of the US, and, I might add, the European Court of Human Rights.
I firmly agree that the extradition should be halted, not for the reasons that this piece of shit troublemaker might be mistreated in/by the USA, but that he is a British criminal first and should pay his dues as such, then extradited.
I am dead set against the manner by which the USA is wielding it’s hammer around the world. It doesn’t matter whether it is extraditions in Britain, or New Zealand (The Dot.com affair) or the renditions that it has perpetrated on the rest of the world.
The USA has got too big for its boots, and needs to be taken down a peg or two.