England

Confidential Papal travel plans 'left in pub'

Pope Benedict XVI
Image caption Pope Benedict XVI will lead Mass in Birmingham's Cofton Park on 19 September

A package of confidential documents relating to the Pope's visit has been handed in to police.

Pope Benedict XVI will lead Mass in Birmingham's Cofton Park on 19 September as part of a UK state visit.

West Midlands Police said documents relating to the Pope's Birmingham visit were handed in on Sunday.

It is thought the papers were found in a pub in Leamington Spa. A government spokesman said he was confident security had not been compromised.

It is understood the discovered documents were handed to journalists who then took them to Shrewsbury police station.

WRG, the events firm organising the Birmingham leg of the tour, said the plans were out of date and in no way compromised security.

It said the papers had not been left behind by any members of WRG staff.

'Safe and secure'

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: "The security of the papal visit is of paramount importance and we are confident that arrangements for all events are robust.

"We are aware of a document being passed to the media, but the police and event organisers have confirmed that security has not been compromised and are confident that the visit will be a safe and secure event."

Mark Wallace, chairman of WRG, said plans for the visit had been given to a large number of agencies who had signed confidentiality clauses.

"These plans are very old and from early planning stages of the event," he said.

"They in no way reflect the visit and as a consequence the police and other agencies are not concerned. WRG manage and handle plans very, carefully."

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