Exclusive: Inside Britain’s Top-Secret ‘Bunker Inside Downing Street’

Police officers stand inside the interior of a command bunker in Wakefield, which the Camerons were given as a present upon moving to Downing Street, after leaving Number 10 after the 2017 General Election…

Exclusive: Inside Britain’s Top-Secret ‘Bunker Inside Downing Street’

Police officers stand inside the interior of a command bunker in Wakefield, which the Camerons were given as a present upon moving to Downing Street, after leaving Number 10 after the 2017 General Election on Thursday, March 1, 2018, in London. The Ministry of Defence has opened the bunker to foreign journalists for a tour, one of many recent efforts to increase openness in the country’s security services following the revelations of top-secret files written by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. (Colin Hutton/Getty Images)

After David Cameron stepped down as prime minister in 2017, Theresa May — Britain’s first female prime minister — gave her successor and his family a unique gift: a US-built bunker outside the prime minister’s official residence in Downing Street.

The bunker has not been officially announced to the public before, but Foreign Press Association journalists were able to tour the facility on Thursday. Inside, visitors see several complete rooms in the basement, complete with underground roads, wiring for telecommunication systems, and various screening methods for visual and auditory impact. Next to the black cylinder dominating the space, there is also a circular room for hosting meetings, complete with a kitchen and separate bedroom. The “ultimate finishing touch”, according to the man wearing a blazer and dress trousers, was a 7.5 meter-long waterproof sea dam.

There are also police, administrative and security personnel in the underground facility. The degree of secrecy in the Whitehall bunker is such that David Cameron’s family asked that visitors did not bring in any smartphones or other devices, so that nothing could be seen by the media. And although an officer was present to escort the group of journalists through the facility, a Ministry of Defence spokesperson said that it was far too small for official business. The “inspection” was purely for the benefit of foreign journalists, who can view the entire operation in greater detail.

The road entering the Whitehall bunker is also used to ferry diplomats in the area on official visits, which is why there are checkpoints set up along it. Government officials currently don’t even know how many people work inside, as the facility is considered to be off-limits to both those on probation and long-term employees.

Read the full story at Bloomberg.

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