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Heathrow apologises to Professor Mary Beard for security strip search

The Cambridge classicist was made to strip down to her ‘scrappy undies’

Heathrow Airport issued an apology to the famed Cambridge classicist Professor Dame Mary Beard, after she was made to strip down to her 'scrappy undies' at security.

At airport security, she was seen by other passengers in just her "little black vest [and] no bra", after being asked to remove her clothing. She said the security staff were "polite but insistent".

She wrote on Twitter: "I know rules are rules (and we all depend on airport security) but was a bit, surprised to be to told to take off what I think is a 'tunic' (they thought was a 'jacket') at Heathrow security."

Airport executives have promised to investigate the matter.

A spokesperson for Heathrow said: "Our colleagues work incredibly hard to keep Britain's skies safe and any passenger is able to be searched in private. We apologise that this didn't happen in this instance."

Beard said in response to the apology that she did not wish for staff to get into trouble, but that some "general consciousness-raising" would be ideal.

She said: "I am tough, and I have no desire to see the staff concerned told off (so I am carefully not telling you which terminal)… but maybe some general consciousness-raising on this one would be a jolly good idea!"