Angela Merkel
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Spying 'reality of the nasty world we live in'

France and Germany have announced they are to seek new rules for intelligence co-operation with the United States following their dispute with Washington over spying.

The move follows revelations that US intelligence agencies may have been monitoring the mobile phone of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and millions of French phone calls.

The former security minister, Lord West, told the Today programme while the events are embarrassing they come as no surprise: "Clearly it's extremely embarrassing when something is written down on paper which shows, does seem to show that they were trying to collect information on the phones of those particular people."

"I've always worked on the assumption... that people were listening to my phone calls and trying to get information from me; and I know they jolly well were," he said.

"It's a reality of the nasty world we live in," he added.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 25 October 2013.