Former Director General of Ministry of Defence urges public not to give classified documents to the media as it's 'helping our opponents'
‘You might as well take it to the Russian Embassy if you’re going to take it to the BBC,’ said Dr Chris Parry after sensitive defence documents were found by a member of the public at a bus stop.
Sensitive defence documents containing details about HMS Defender and the military have been found by a member of the public at a bus stop, according to reports.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the employee concerned with the loss of documents reported it last week, and the department has launched an investigation.
A member of the public, who wanted to remain anonymous, contacted the BBC when they found 50 pages of classified information in a soggy heap behind a bus stop in Kent early on Tuesday morning.
Former Director General of Ministry of Defence, Dr Chris Parry, appeared told GB News presents Darren McCaffrey and Rosie Wright that it's "helping our opponents" to give classified documents to the media and "put it out there."
Dr Parry urged members of the public to hand classified documents to the police if they find them, adding "You might as well take it to the Russian Embassy if you’re going to take it to the BBC."
The papers included one set of documents which discussed the potential Russian reaction to HMS Defender’s travel through Ukrainian waters off the Crimea coast on Wednesday, according to the BBC, while another laid out plans for a possible UK military presence in Afghanistan.
The MoD said that HMS Defender “conducted innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law” and that “all potential factors” are considered when making “operational decisions”.
A spokesperson said: “As the public would expect, the Ministry of Defence plans carefully.
“As a matter of routine, that includes analysing all the potential factors affecting operational decisions.
“HMS Defender conducted innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.”
They added: “The Ministry of Defence was informed last week of an incident in which sensitive defence papers were recovered by a member of the public.
“The department takes the security of information extremely seriously and an investigation has been launched.
“The employee concerned reported the loss at the time.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further.”