Sheffield & South Yorkshire

David Blunkett demands apology for 'slur' on Sheffield

Screengrab of Youtube video
Image caption The hackers published a video of the call on YouTube

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has demanded an apology to the people of Sheffield for an "unwarranted slur" on the city by Scotland Yard officers.

Hacking network Anonymous said the remark came in a leaked conversation between FBI and UK officers.

During it, officers joked about a conference on cyber-crime in Sheffield.

One UK officer told FBI counterparts they had not missed much by not visiting the city as it was not "a jewel in England's crown".

The comment came during a conference call, said to have taken place last month, covering the tracking of Anonymous and similar groups.

On Friday, Anonymous released a tape of the call in which detectives give details of alleged hackers.

Mr Blunkett, the MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, said: "I think that we need an urgent explanation of what happened in terms of the breach of security between the Metropolitan Police E-crime unit and the FBI, the nature and perpetrators of the breach, the reasons for lax security between the agencies and the steps that are now being taken to put things right."

He added: "I also separately believe that those involved should offer an apology to the British people for putting such sensitive discussion at risk, but also to the people of Sheffield for the gratuitous and completely unwarranted slur on Britain's fourth largest city.

"Those making such remarks against Sheffield have no idea that the city is in fact a 'jewel', with the largest number of trees of any city in Europe, more greenery than any other urban area, and surrounded by the most wonderful countryside, including the Peak National Park, which is the second most visited protected National Park area in the world."

More on this story