An investigation is underway after Tony Blair’s female bodyguard reportedly left a loaded gun in a Starbucks coffee shop in London.
Bodyguard was responsible for protecting former PM Tony Blair
The ex-PM’s close protection officer left the Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol in the cafe’s toilet after relieving herself while on duty, it is claimed.
The gun was later found by a member of staff, who dialled 999, The Sun newspaper reported.
A Scotland Yard spokesman told Sky News it has launched an investigation into the incident, which took place on August 29.
He denied reports the officer has been sacked, but confirmed she had been “removed from operational duties”.
He added: “A police-issue firearm was left unattended in a central London café on Friday evening and was found by a member of the public.
“The weapon belongs to an MPS Authorised Firearms Officer who was on duty at the time. An investigation has begun.”
The female officer, in her 30s and attached to the Yard’s SO1 protection unit, searched frantically for the gun for an hour after realising her mistake.
A senior police source quoted by the newspaper said: “She knows she has messed up bad.”
He said she was caught short while on Edgware Road – near one of Mr Blair’s homes.
He added: “Luckily it was found in time, but if a child or a criminal had picked it up there could have been terrible consequences.
“This has come as a shock. The officer is inconsolable and seriously regrets her mistake.
“Everyone is fond of her. She was among the top in her class during training, but her firearms career could be over.”
Her SO1 unit – full name Specialist Protection Command – is responsible for protecting Gordon Brown and former PMs Mr Blair and Margaret Thatcher.
It is the second bungle involving Mr Blair since he left Downing Street.
Last September four asylum seekers got into the UK in the back of a lorry delivering his new £100,000 reinforced BMW from Munich.