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Dawn exchange in public toilet

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The Register offices were today reduced to pandemonium by the revelation that one of our most trusted operatives has defected to the dark side.

Associate editor Sean Fleming, 34, admitted under torture that he has for years harboured unnatural yearnings to work in Public Relations. When shown the hot pliers he 'sang like a canary,' sobbing that he found Beattie Media's impressive benefits package hard to resist, adding: "I did it for the wife and kids."

Vulture Central decided, despite pressure from outraged hacks to deploy the garrotte, to exchange Sean for a Reg investigative journalist who went missing at a 1997 Kyocera product launch. The handover took place at dawn today in a public convenience under Vauxhall bridge.

One question remains. How on earth did a building full of top journos fail to spot Fleming's treachery? The evidence was there for all to see: Early morning phonecalls from Tiggy or Charlotte or Sammy asking to speak to 'Blackbird'; Trabants full of geezers dressed in black leather coats and trilbies hanging around outside the office; binliners bulging with hard currency delivered by courier.

Register security chiefs promised a total and immediate clampdown, centering on limiting access to PR bunnies and a complete ban on PR-sponsored lunchtime beanos. As for Fleming, we hope that weekends spent at his dacha swilling cheap vodka with moustachioed PR minders will be adequate compensation for his treason. ®

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