Queen Elizabeth leak: Why the BBC apologized for airing her views
Queen Elizabeth leak: Her Majesty told a BBC journalist that the British government should have arrested radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri. This rare leak by the BBC of Queen Elizabeth's views was considered violation of journalistic ethics.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)
Britain's BBC apologized to Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday after a senior journalist reported her private views about one of the country's best-known terrorism suspects, an embarrassing disclosure for a monarch who avoids public political statements.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner broadcast details of a private conversation with the queen during which she supposedly told him she had complained to the last government about radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.
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That was awkward for a head of state who has no political or executive role and is expected to stay neutral in public. The queen has never given a media interview and typically avoids controversial topics in her speeches.
The Egyptian-born cleric lost an appeal in the European courts on Monday and faces extradition from Britain to the United States. Washington accuses him of supporting al Qaeda, aiding a kidnapping in Yemen and plotting to open a U.S. training camp for militants.
Delays in arresting the cleric angered many in Britain. Newspapers campaigned for his extradition, with the Sun using the headline "Sling Your Hook", a reference to the metal hook he wore in place of a hand he lost in disputed circumstances.