The former deputy prime minister, John Prescott is undertaking some detective work after finding that his car had been bugged with a sound recorder and a tracking device.
Lord Prescott had to take his beloved jaguar to a garage because it had problems starting and it was there that the discovery was made.
The Mirror reports:
Mechanics found a tracker concealed under the driver’s seat that was hooked up to the car battery, draining its power.
The sophisticated device uses mobile phone technology and is capable of reporting the Jag’s movements at all times. It also has an inbuilt microphone enabling it to pick up conversations.
And the 6inch-square black box is even capable of immobilising the car if instructed to by mobile phone.
Lord Prescott told the Sunday Mirror: “I’ve been told that whoever knows the SIM card that goes with the tracker can send out a signal and stop the engine.
“I suppose you have to hope you’re not on the motorway.”
The Labour peer, renowned for his love of Jaguars, added: “I’m really surprised. I’ve had the car a couple of years and had considerable trouble with the battery.
“Something was draining the power and affecting the operation of the vehicle.
“The mystery now begins to try and find out what it is. I’ve been watched and tapped in the past – but this is my first case of a tracker in a car.”
Prezza is now trying to trace former owners of the Jag to see if the device was installed before he purchased the car.
The former MP for Hull East said: “It’s true the tracker could have been placed there by a previous owner who simply wanted to trace the car if it was stolen. So first I want to try to trace the previous owners.
“Or has somebody been watching me, listening in my own vehicle? My experience over the years makes me wonder.
“This type of surveillance breaches our right to privacy – I’ve had my mobile hacked, my phone tapped, and now someone might have been tracking my car.”
But insisting he was calm about the find he joked: “I can only hope whoever listened to my conversations installed an automatic bleeper too.”