Britain's Downing Street admits using bogus names

May 11, 2011 12:38:39 PM PDT
If you get a letter from Britain's No. 10 Downing Street, don't bother with a personalized response. The person who signed it probably used a fake name. Downing Street says that, for years, staff at the British Prime Minister's office have been using bogus names in their correspondence with members of the public.

It says that use of pseudonyms was introduced in 2005, after an official was tracked down by a constituent she'd been in contact with and threatened at her home address.

But the practice didn't come to light until Wednesday, when the country's Channel 4 News exposed one such official as being imaginary.

Downing Street said it was now looking in to an alternative to using pseudonyms in its letters to the public.

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