The sale of two government buildings in central London will compromise national security and put the Queen at risk, Lord Reid, the former Home Secretary has said.
Admiralty Arch and the Old War Office, in the heart of Whitehall, were sold to private developers for almost £200 million and are to be turned into luxury hotels.
But peers expressed grave concerns about the plans, warning that they were on the State Procession route between Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster and that terrorists could use them to target the Royal Family.
Lord Reid cautioned that national security was a matter for the Government, not for new private owners.
“If the cost of reducing the deficit by a couple of hundred million pounds is to put our national security — not to mention the monarch — at risk, it is not a price worth paying,” he said.
Labour peer Lord Foulkes of Cumnock said it was “privatisation gone mad”.
“Does the noble Lord really think that selling off the Old War Office building, just up the road from the Cenotaph, to a private foreign company for use as a hotel and private apartments will not cause major security risks? Of course it will,” he said.