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Foreign state minders have been allowed to carry guns in the UK, police admitted yesterday.

Presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush were protected by armed US agents, the Met revealed. It breaks with the tradition of overseas officers not bearing arms here. Commander Bob Broadhurst said: “The request is always asked and nearly always declined. Occasionally, with the US, there are a number allowed – one or two close officers – to carry a firearm.”

The Scotland Yard chief spoke as he outlined security plans for next week’s three-day Papal visit. He stressed there were no signs of a terror threat against the Pope.
Pressure to allow armed US agents in Britain grew after the 7/7 terror blasts.

One official said: “Once it became apparent we had a very serious problem with homegrown al-Qaeda terrorism it was very hard not to give ground.”

Source: Jon Clements for Mirror.co.uk.

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