UK accused of hypocrisy over spy case

The British government has been accused of "double standards" following its reaction to allegations that Russian spies used forged British and Irish passports.

During the trial of 10 Russians who admitted to being spies last month, US Department of Justice papers claimed that one of them, Tracey Foley, "travelled on a fraudulent British passport prepared for her by the SVR [Russia's foreign intelligence agency]".

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are looking into the links with Britain and are in contact with the US authorities".

When Israel was accused of using forged British passports during
the alleged assassination of a Mossad agent in Dubai earlier this year, there was widespread criticism and both the British and Irish governments expelled Israeli diplomats.

Time and time again, Israel is treated differently to the rest of the world

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said: "Just why this latest passport revelation warrants less attention than the purported forgeries by Israeli spies will validate a growing perception that yet again, Israel is subjected to both international double standards and disproportionate attention."

The Zionist Federation's executive director, Alan Aziz, said: "As usual, double standards are used for Israel and for the rest of the world.

"I am not saying that Israel never makes mistakes, be-cause it does, but time and time again Israel is treated in a distinctly different manner to the rest of the world, and if this is not pure discrimination, I don't know what is."

A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy said: "Knowing the British sense of fair play, we are confident that the same rules will apply to any other country, similarly accused of misusing passports."

Last updated: 12:50pm, July 15 2010