GCHQ 'trying to be down with the kids' after Line of Duty tweet

Haven’t they got anything better to do? GCHQ jumps on Line of Duty bandwagon with Instagram puzzle about show’s elusive ‘H’… sparking critics to say it shouldn’t be the ‘top priority’ when their job is to keep Britain safe

  • Intelligence service bosses joked of a special mission to identify mystery villain
  • Post referenced some of the popular BBC drama’s most famous catchphrases
  • It comes amid hunt for senior government figure responsible for damaging leaks

GCHQ has jumped on the Line of Duty bandwagon by posting an Instagram puzzle about the show – but bosses came under fire from MPs today who claimed it shouldn’t be the ‘top priority’ in keeping Britain safe.

The UK’s intelligence organisation tried to engage followers by joking that it had launched a special mission to identify ‘H’, the mystery villain at the heart of the hugely popular BBC drama.

A post read: ‘Have you seen the #LineOfDuty Season Six Finale Trailer? We can’t wait until Sunday, so we’re putting a team together to solve the mystery gripping the nation.’

Referencing some of the show’s most famous catchphrases, it added that its team will need to ‘stick to the letter of the law, the letter’, ‘be fluent in acronyms’ and ‘overuse the word ‘boss’.’

Accompanying the message was an image which invited followers to call 0659 5433464 and email [email protected]

But the email address is a play on the name of Adrian Dunbar’s character, Ted Hastings, the superintendent heading AC-12 and tasked with bringing down ‘bent coppers’, while the phone number spells out ‘only kidding’ using a nine-digit pad.

While some enjoyed the light-hearted message, others criticised its timing, coming at a time of crisis in Downing Street.

Labour MP Kevan Jones, a member of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, told MailOnline: ‘I wouldn’t think this is the top priority for our national security services.’

Another incredulous MP swiped: ‘Is this them trying to be down with the kids?’

The UK’s intelligence organisation tried to engage followers by joking that it had launched a special mission to identify ‘H’, the mystery villain at the heart of the hugely popular BBC drama

Line of Duty has drawn millions of viewers every week. Pictured: AC-12’s Steve Arnott, Chloe Bishop and Ted Hastings

It is not the first time the nation’s intelligence services have tried to use unusual campaigns and tactics to recruit young Britons.  

MI5 joined Instagram and shared a photo of the lobby of its Thames House HQ in London accompanied with a brainteaser as its first post just five days ago.

It followed the agency’s appointment of its youngest-ever director Ken MCallum, who is ”in his forties’ in March.

The first ever post by MI5 on Instagram shows a frame of the entrance, where workers step int security pods before entering the building

Those behind the Instagram account for MI5 joked that the floor-to-ceiling angle of the shot could give aspiring spies a ‘better view’

And, MI6 put out a call to attract a new army of ‘part-time’ spooks looking for adventure back in January.  

The UK’s foreign intelligence service, which is portrayed in the James Bond films, is looking to boost recruitment and diversity by signing up workers ‘looking to spice up their otherwise dull life’.

Then last month, there was outrage after details emerged of bosses inviting only people ‘from an ethnic minority background or women’ to register their interest for a role in its IT department.

The intelligence agency said that the job would be open to applicants from all backgrounds following this preliminary registration period of several weeks.

The move was labelled ‘completely unacceptable’ by Philip Davies, MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, who branded the agency ‘morons’.

GCHQ told MailOnline at the time that their job post was in accordance with the Equality Act – which says it is illegal to discriminate on ethnicity and gender – because it is not a job advert ‘but a registration of interest.’ 

It comes after it was claimed last night that the Prime Minister texted Dominic Cummings to say allegations that he was the ‘chatty rat’ who revealed details of the second lockdown were ‘bull****’.

It came as Britain’s top civil servant admitted that the person responsible for the leak may never be found.

Mr Johnson is said to have sent a text message to Mr Cummings, his former No10 chief of staff, to put him in the clear.

Mr Cummings also reportedly received a text absolving him of culpability from Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, who is said to have told him that he authorised the Downing Street press office to say he was not the ‘chatty rat’.

Mr Case told MPs yesterday that the leak inquiry is still ongoing, almost six months on, and has not yet identified the culprit. 

He insisted that Mr Johnson had been determined to find the leaker, however, after Mr Cummings claimed the Prime Minister had considered blocking the probe.

The leak inquiry was triggered last autumn after newspapers were tipped off – by a source later dubbed a ‘chatty rat’ – that new Covid restrictions were being considered. 

It forced Mr Johnson to announce the national lockdown earlier than planned in a press conference late on October 31.

At the time, he told Tory MPs: ‘Let me assure you that the leak was not a No10 briefing and indeed we have launched an inquiry to catch the culprit.’

But when asked about the progress of the Cabinet Office investigation yesterday, Mr Case told MPs on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee: ‘What I can say is the investigation is ongoing and this is a clear indication that the source or sources haven’t been identified.

‘In the time that has now passed, I think it is probable the team will not successfully identify the source or sources but work is ongoing.’

He said he hoped the investigation would be finished within ‘weeks rather than months’.

Boris Johnson texted Dominic Cummings to say allegations that he was the ‘chatty rat’ who revealed details of the second lockdown were ‘bull****’, it was claimed last night

The Prime Minister is said to have sent a text message to Mr Cummings, his former No10 chief of staff, to put him in the clear

The sixth season of Line of Duty comes to a close on Sunday night, and a dramatic trailer for the final episode left fans wondering if the gripping police thriller will return once more, or if this weekend marks the end of the entire series. 

It has been five years since anti-corruption police in the AC-12 unit began to hunt a mysterious bent top copper known as H.

The 30-second trailer seemed to indicate viewers will at last learn the identity of H as the sixth series of the BBC1 show draws to a close on Sunday.

The trailer had an element of finality, prompting fans to speculate it could be the end of Line Of Duty.

Superintendent Hastings says: ‘All of these suspicious deaths were orchestrated by one officer in particular – H, the fourth man.’

The trailer then shows characters who could be H, including Chief Constable Philip Osborne, Deputy Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael and former Deputy Chief Inspector Marcus Thurwell – as well as fan favourites Hastings and Detective Inspector Kate Fleming.

The words ‘Every investigation has led to this’ appear across the screen, with all the letters vanishing apart from an ‘H’.

Other images in the tense clip include Acting Detective Superintendent Joanne Davidson being led out of jail in handcuffs before sitting in a prison van asking: ‘What’s going on?’ 

The trailer’s conclusion sees Fleming, played by Vicky McClure, and Detective Inspector Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) holding guns, ready to shoot.

The future of the hugely popular drama has been unclear for some time, with the BBC and show creator Jed Mercurio failing to confirm another season.

Speaking about more possible series, Mercurio told Radio Times earlier this year: ‘We don’t know. Since probably season four, we’ve been talking to the BBC about the realistic longevity of the series. It’s an ongoing discussion is all I can say.’

GCHQ has been been approached for further comment. 


Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio excited fans when he shared the first clue about the plot of season six to Twitter.

Uploading a snap of a packet of the Australian chocolate biscuits TimTams with the caption ‘#LineofDuty Series 6 Plot Clue No. 1’, fans began to ferociously speculate as to what it might mean.

But one plot point hanging over the next season of the show is about the identity of the ominous ‘H’.

While the mystery was somewhat answered in the season five finale, it was also revealed that there are FOUR people pertaining to be ‘H’, with the final one still unknown.

So who could it be?

Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin)

Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin)

She was one of season five’s stand-out characters, swooping in towards the end of the series to interrogate Ted Hastings – highly suspected to be ‘H’ at the time.

And while she simply seemed to be excellent at her job – and hellbent on uncovering the corruption within the department – could it be that Patricia Carmichael was SO keen to pin the blame on Ted to take the focus away from herself.

Could SHE be the fourth ‘H’?

Her position of power and respect, along with her unnaturally steely and cut-throat demeanor, could well point to this.

Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)

Ted Hastings was pinpointed by viewers of the show, as well as the characters on the show, to be a candidate for ‘H’.

But it seemed he was exonerated by the end of season five, allowed to walk free.

But could be potentially be triple-crossing us all? Could he in fact STILL be the potential fourth ‘H’.

The biggest issue with this theory is that Gill Biggeloe – one of the three revealed to be ‘H’ – was so against him. Surely she wouldn’t be working to deter him if they were in league?

UNLESS, she doesn’t KNOW he is the fourth ‘H’?

DCC Andrea Wise (Elizabeth Rider)

DCC Andrea Wise (Elizabeth Rider)

Detective Chief Constable Andrea Wise was new to the show in season five and is another high-powered contender for ‘H’.

She has been constantly interfering when it has come to supporting AC-12’s investigations, removing them from the investigation into Operation Pear Tree. She also instigated the Ted Hastings investigation.

She is also keen to cover up police corruption, despite announcing at the end of season five: ‘This constabulary will work tirelessly to root out rotten apples in its ranks.’

PCC Rohan Sindwhani (Ace Bhatti)

PCC Rohan Sindwhani (Ace Bhatti)

Police and Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani demanded to be ‘in on’ a meeting between Andrea Wise and Ted Hastings. This might be a small clue but any clue could be valid at this point.

Any shady behavior suggests ‘H’ is at play, and so Rohan could indeed be culpable.


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