MI6 Headquarters

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:56 pm on 27th September 2000.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 2:56 pm, 27th September 2000

My Lords, I hope that it will not sound frivolous if I say that this enormous building, which I believe is often described as a wedding cake, has in the age of the hand-held missile become a sitting duck. I believe that there are serious implications for the future, given high technology's ability to smuggle dangerous weapons into the centre of London and aim them at any prominent building. Will the noble Baroness assure us on two matters? First, now that everyone knows where the Secret Intelligence Service is housed, will she assure us that all possible steps will be taken to fortify that enormous building more effectively? Secondly, will she suggest to the mandarins and masters of the Secret Intelligence Service that when they expand further--as no doubt they will--they might consider returning some of their staff to the shabby anonymity of the building over St James's Underground which no one knew about except the bus conductors who always referred to it as "Spys' Corner"?