A call for candidates for the “Target Elimination Specialist” post, with a job reference code of 007, remained on the DirectGov website for at least an hour after Twitter users began to post links to it.

The job description had all the hallmarks of a James Bond-style position, requiring “particularly skilled professionals who are prepared to work on a non-attributable basis” to deal with “people whose continued existence poses a risk to the effective conduct of public order.”

International travel to seek out the individuals who “need to be removed” was part of the package, and a candidate with few distinguishing features preferred to blend in with new identities where appropriate.