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Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR)
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Released in 2010 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this is the only publicly available photo of the classified COBR facility.
Location Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London, England
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Purpose Crisis management centre


The Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) are a group of meeting rooms in the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall, often used for different committees which co-ordinate the actions of bodies within the Government of the United Kingdom in response to instances of national or regional crisis, or during events abroad with major implications for the UK. The composition of a Ministerial-level meeting in COBR depends on the nature of the incident but it is usually chaired by the Prime Minister or another senior minister, with other key ministers as appropriate, city mayors and representatives of relevant external organisations such as the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Local Government Association.[1]

The first COBR meeting took place in the 1970s to oversee the government's response to the 1972 miners' strike.[2][3] Other events that have led to meetings being convened include the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege, fuel protests, the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak, the 11 September 2001 attacks, the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the refugee crisis in Calais,[4] the 2015 Paris attacks, and the 2017 Manchester Arena explosion,.[5]

In 2009, former senior police officer Andy Hayman, who sat on the committee after the 7 July 2005 London bombings and at other intervals from 2005 to 2007, was highly critical of its workings in his book The Terrorist Hunters.[6]

A single photo of COBR was released in 2010 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.[7]

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