May defends involvement with The Guardian

US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

LONDON — Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May defended today the involvement of the nation’s most senior civil servant in ordering the Guardian newspaper to surrender leaked documents related to British and US surveillance programmes.

May said it was appropriate for top level officials including Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood to have been involved in trying to stop media coverage of secrets leaked by fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Sources told Reuters today that British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered Heywood to contact the newspaper to try to stop the revelations.

“I think issues of national security are rightly addressed at an appropriate level within government and I do not find it surprising that someone at a very senior level within government should be involved in this particular issue,” May told the BBC. (Reuters)

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