Security procedures are being reviewed after a man, who claimed to be drunk and high on cocaine, got through to the Prime Minister on the phone. The unnamed man called David Cameron yesterday, and later claimed he had made “monkeys” of GCHQ by obtaining the mobile number of their Director, Robert Hannigan.
The Prime Minister received a call on Sunday in which the man claimed to be a conference call between GCHQ and Number 10. David Cameron later claimed he asked what the call was all about and the man voluntarily admitted it was a hoax call. The PM then “hit the red button”, to end the call which had been “quite brief”.
The man responsible for the breach called The Sun newspaper to say the situation was “hilarious” and added, “I’m definitely going to do it again. It was so easy.”
A Government spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph: “Following two hoax calls to Government departments today, a notice has gone out to all departments to be on the alert for such calls. In the first instance, a call was made to GCHQ which resulted in the disclosure of a mobile phone number for the director.
“The mobile number provided is never used for calls involving classified information. In the second instance, a hoax caller claiming to be the GCHQ director was connected to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister ended the call when it became clear it was a hoax. In neither instance was sensitive information disclosed.
“Both GCHQ and Number 10 take security seriously and both are currently reviewing procedures following these hoax calls to ensure that the Government learns any lessons from this incident.”
This is not the first time a member of the public has got through to a Prime Minister. In 1998 the Radio DJ Steve Penk asked the impressionist Jon Culshaw to called Downing Street pretending to be William Hague MP.
The pair had not expected to get any further than the switchboard but in the end they spoke to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Staff had asked his wife to summon him to take the call, in the end Blair claimed not to have been convinced because Culshaw called him Tony, whereas William Hague only ever called him Prime Minister.
The latest breach was not recorded, but the Penk/Culshaw call was recorded and is availble below: