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MI5 boss 'gave 7/7 eve all-clear'

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LONDON, England -- The head of Britain's domestic spying agency reportedly told the country's government a day before the July 7, 2004, bombings in London that there was no imminent terrorist threat.

The Guardian newspaper said that Eliza Manningham-Buller gave assurances to senior lawmakers from the ruling Labour party just 24 hours before suicide bombers struck, killing 52 people.

The paper said it had spoken to several people who had attended the meeting at the House of Commons, according to the UK Press Association.

David Davis, home affairs spokesman for the opposition Conservative Party, told the paper that he would call for an independent inquiry into the run-up to the attacks.

"It is absolutely necessary for the continued security of the British public that we know precisely if, when and how security failures occurred and for action to be taken to minimize the risk of it happening again." he told the paper.

Manningham-Buller has said she will step down in April after four and a half years in the job, a decision she said was unrelated to the July 7 attacks.

Asked about the Guardian report, a Home Office spokeswoman repeated Home Secretary John Reid's tribute to the spy chief in the wake of her retirement announcement, PA said.

"Her contribution to the security of our nation has been invaluable and I pay tribute to her unstinting efforts on our behalf," he said.

Four British Islamists blew themselves up in three London underground trains and a bus on July 7, 2004.

More than 700 people were wounded in what is considered the worst peacetime attack on the city.

Eliza Manningham-Buller reportedly gave the all-clear 24 hours before bombers struck.





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