Spooky office

August 21, 1998

It is tempting to read a lot into the recent move by the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority into the former MI6 headquarters overlooking Buckingham Palace.

Why, for example, does the QCA need a sound, bug and bomb-proof conference room? What use does it intend to make of the rumoured "rubber room" in the basement? And will senior QCA staff "entertain" in the fully equipped flat upstairs? Head of communications Tony Millns hinted at a few benefits at a recent press briefing. "This room is totally sound-proof so we can say what we like," he joked. And the rubber room? "We might turn it into a staff gym - swapping one kind of torture for another."

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