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Gloucestershire Business News

GCHQ at heart of investigation in to transatlantic spat between UK ambassador and president Trump

Cheltenham's finest are set to be called upon to make sense out of the unseemly spat that has threatened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Claim, counter-claim, tweets and tittle tattle have followed the leaking of explosive - and intended to be confidential e-mails - by Britain's ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch.

Throw in allegations of Russian hacking and you have the plot for the next Bond blockbuster.

Only, it won't be 007 called upon to make sense of an increasingly-complicated and unbelievably-delicate matter, it will be the secretive staff of the Benhall Doughnut.

Current foreign secretary, but contender to be prime minister Jeremy Hunt was asked about who leaked the confidential memos that claimed president Trump's regime was "inept" last night.

Mr Hunt was asked by The Sun newspaper whether the leaking of the memos was the act of a hostile hack by another country rather than a leak on home soil.

Replying to The Sun, Mr Hunt said: "Of course it would be massively concerning if it was the act of a foreign, hostile state.

"I've seen no evidence that that's the case, but we'll look at the leak inquiry very carefully.

"They are going to follow all avenues of inquiry to try to understand how this happened. That's something that will be considered."

And that's where GCHQ will come in.


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The spy base's director Jeremy Fleming made a rare public appearance this morning to launch a new exhibit at London's Science Museum detailing 100 years of the organisation, that starts tomorrow.

He was asked by the BBC as to whether his organisation will be involved in any investigation and with a typically straight bat he said: I can't get into the detail of investigation.

"The Cabinet Office and the Foreign Office will lead on that and if they require our services, GCHQ can help."

But at a separate event this morning entitled Developing Cheltenham's Future Cyber Generation held at Gloucestershire College another of the agency's top bods was speaking.

Chris Ensor is part of the leadership team on the National Cyber Security Centre spoke GCHQ's role in the UK cyber sector.

And what he said left no doubt as to the agency's scope to investigate and be at the heart of whatever was hitting the headlines.

He said: "You can pretty much say that when something hits the BBC we have been involved in it."

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