Footman scoop lands trainee Mirror staff job

Royal intruder: Parry’s scoop fills 15 pages of Wednesday’s Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror graduate trainee Ryan Parry uncovered what the newspaper has called “the biggest royal security scandal ever” when he spent two months working undercover as a royal footman.

Editor Piers Morgan said Parry would be moved on to the regular staff of the paper “as a matter of urgency” as a reward for getting the story.

Presumably Morgan won’t ask for a reference – Parry secured his job with access to all areas of the palace despite providing a fake CV. One of his character references was provided by a regular at a pub he used to work at when a palace official phoned up and the landlord passed the phone across the bar.

In his story, Parry said his investigation had made a mockery of the £10m security arrangements to protect US President George Bush. If he hadn’t walked out on Tuesday night, he said he would have been serving the President breakfast.

Morgan said: “The implications are pretty serious – this is the most devastating exposé of lax security surrounding the royal family that there has ever been. The ease with which Ryan has achieved what he has achieved is staggering and quite frightening.”

When asked whether the Mirror had taken precautions to avoid legal action, possibly for invasion of privacy or breach of confidence, Morgan said: “We could have published an awful lot more. Ryan has seen and heard a lot of things, but our job here as we saw it was to expose the security lapses, rather than going into too much prurient detail about what he saw and heard.

“I congratulate Ryan on a stunning piece of investigative journalism – considering he’s a graduate trainee at the Mirror, not even on the staff yet.

“He will be moving on to the staff as a result of this scoop as a matter of urgency.”

According to Morgan, a team of journalists at the Mirror worked in secret on Parry’s 15-page investigation.

In order to prevent other papers picking up the story in their later editions, the Mirror published a “spoof” front page about news that popstar Michael Jackson’s ranch had been searched by police.

The royal security story was inserted later on in the print run in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

By Dominic Ponsford

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