Building contractors fired after losing floor plans for spy HQ

Building contractors Balfour Beatty tasked with refurbishing the MI6 building in London have been fired after losing the floor plans for the spy headquarters.

The plans were said to have contained details of the building’s layout and security protocol

According to The Sun, the plans went missing a few weeks ago, having been produced by the company to help with the restoration works at the Vauxhall Cross site.

Allegedly more than 100 papers, detailing the building’s layout and security protocol, were left unaccounted for.

The multi-million-pound contract to restore the famous riverside structure was reportedly terminated soon after.

The secret documents were ­supposed to have been kept in a secure room, with access limited to a small number of supervisors overseeing the refurbishment.

As a result, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, will reportedly launch a review of its relations with external contractors to tighten their security protocols. 

The British secret service could also be forced to cancel plans for the refurbishment.


A source told the newspaper the building “went into lockdown” after the security breach was revealed two weeks ago.

Also missing were plans for the “layout of the building and specifically where alarms and other security measures were”.

Some of the papers were later found within the building, but a number of pages are still missing.

Spy chiefs are said to be satisfied that they have not fallen into enemy hands.


Balfour Beatty declined to comment, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is responsible for MI6, said: “We do not comment on intelligence matters.”

The building was opened in 1994 and has a complex layout designed to shield agents from the prying eyes of the outside world.

Also known as Babylon on Thames, the 252,497 sq ft block was designed by architect Terry Farrell and Partners.

It was inspired by 1930s modernist structures such as Battersea Power Station and Mayan and Aztec religious temples.  

It was designated as a protected site by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which made it a crime for members of the public to enter the building or its surrounding area without approval.

Large parts of the building are reportedly hidden below street level, connected by a labyrinth of underground corridors.

Opaque triple-glazed glass is said to block electronic eavesdropping and security cameras are set up inside and out. And special bomb and bullet-proof walls, combined with two exterior moats protect it from possible terror attacks.

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