After looking through them, the person who found nearly 50 pages of British government documents realized they probably weren't supposed to be left on the ground behind a bus stop in Kent. The classified papers included information about a British destroyer and how Russia might respond to the Defender sailing through Ukrainian waters off the Crimea coast, the BBC reports. The documents also address plans for a potential deployment of UK troops to Afghanistan once the US has pulled out. The Defense staff member responsible for the documents—which included copies of emails and PowerPoint presentations, per the Guardian—had reported the loss, and an investigation has begun. The "member of the public" who discovered the files last week was not identified.
The opposition Labor Party called for answers from the government about whether national security was compromised. "The loss of classified documents that cover a wide range of vital areas of national security is as embarrassing as it is worrying for ministers," the shadow Defense minister said. The ministry assured the public that the information in the documents do not indicate that any operations will take place. "As the public would expect, the Ministry of Defense plans carefully," an spokesperson said. "As a matter of routine, that includes analyzing all the potential factors affecting operational decisions." (Read more classified information stories.)