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Named and blamed – the official who lost top secret MoD files

Revealed: Official who lost top secret MoD files at bus stop is a mandarin tipped to be Nato ambassador

  • Angus Lapsley was named as senior civil servant who left almost 50 documents – which were then handed to the BBC – at a bus stop in June
  • Most of the papers were marked ‘official sensitive’, a low level of classification
  • But one was ‘Secret UK Eyes Only,’ addressed to Defence Sec’s private secretary
  • Mr Lapsley has had security clearance suspended pending a full review

A senior civil servant tipped to be UK ambassador to Nato has been blamed after sensitive Ministry of Defence documents were found at a bus stop.

Angus Lapsley was named last night as the mandarin responsible for the loss of the papers, which included details of a Royal Navy warship’s passage through Crimea’s disputed territorial waters.

The pile of almost 50 documents was picked up by a member of the public in Kent in June and handed to the BBC. 

They also detailed plans for a possible UK military presence in Afghanistan after the US-led Nato operation ended.

Two Government sources have named Mr Lapsley, who was working in the MoD at the time but has since been redeployed to the Foreign Office. 

He is unlikely to be made UK ambassador to Nato but it has not been ruled out definitively, the Guardian reported. 

Angus Lapsley (pictured) was named last night as the mandarin responsible for the loss of the papers, which included details of a Royal Navy warship’s passage through Crimea’s disputed territorial waters [File photo]

Mr Lapsley (left) has had security clearance suspended pending a full review, meaning he cannot continue as an MoD director general for defence policy on Nato and the Euro-Atlantic area. Pictured: Mr Lapsley Chilean actress Cecilia Bolocco and former UK Ambassador to Chile Jon Benjamin at the launch of the GREAT campaign in Chile in 2012

Mr Lapsley (left) has had security clearance suspended pending a full review, meaning he cannot continue as an MoD director general for defence policy on Nato and the Euro-Atlantic area. Pictured: Mr Lapsley Chilean actress Cecilia Bolocco and former UK Ambassador to Chile Jon Benjamin at the launch of the GREAT campaign in Chile in 2012

Mr Lapsley has had security clearance suspended pending a full review, meaning he cannot continue as an MoD director general for defence policy on Nato and the Euro-Atlantic area.

A final penalty has yet to be decided, leaving Government security sources unhappy. One said it would make it harder to discipline junior employees for similar errors.

Most papers were marked ‘official sensitive’, a low level of classification. But one addressed to the Defence Secretary’s private secretary was marked ‘Secret UK Eyes Only’ and addressed whether special forces would stay in Afghanistan after Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops. 

This level of documents, on pink paper, are not supposed to be taken from Government buildings unless logged out and securely stored.

A Whitehall source said: ‘The document should not have been taken out of the building in this way and in this case.’

Tory MP James Sunderland said in June that there must have had to be a ‘deliberate act’ in removing a pink document from an MoD secure area. 

The Foreign Office said: ‘The individual concerned has been removed from sensitive work and has already had their security clearance suspended pending a full review.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk