Jan 18, 2006 -- By Peter Griffiths
LONDON (Reuters) - British police have foiled a plot to kidnap Prime Minister Tony Blair's five-year-old son Leo, the Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Citing an unnamed security source, the daily tabloid said people on the fringe of a group which campaigns for the rights of divorced fathers had planned to snatch the child and hold him for a short period as a publicity stunt.
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The Fathers 4 Justice campaign group said it had decided to disband due to the report, although it insisted none of its current members had been involved in any kidnap plot.
"Three years after starting the organization, we're going to cease all operations and bring the campaign to a close," group leader Matt O'Connor told Channel Four television.
Fathers 4 Justice has staged several high-profile protests in the past few years. A campaigner dressed as Batman climbed Queen Elizabeth's London residence in 2004 and another threw purple flour bombs at Blair while he addressed parliament.
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The group says British courts unfairly restrict fathers' access to children in custody disputes.
The Sun said Special Branch officers uncovered the plot in its early stages just before Christmas and foiled it.
Both police and Blair's office declined to comment.
However, there were no reports of any arrests, prompting media speculation that if police believed there was such a plot they did not think it had reached an advanced stage.
The Sun gave no details of how the group planned to evade the tight security which surrounds Blair and his family to carry out the kidnapping.
The BBC said police sources had confirmed that they were aware of a possible plot but were not convinced those involved had the ability to carry it out.
Earlier, O'Connor told Reuters his group had expelled about 30 members last year for talking about staging extreme stunts.
"We were aware that there were more extremist elements and we acted within our organization to clean the undesirable element out," said O'Connor, 38.