BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
Ex-spy chief to publish memoirs

Dame Stella Rimington: A personal account of MI5 life
Dame Stella Rimington has been given the go-ahead to become the first British spymaster to release a book about their experiences.

The former head of MI5's book, Open Secret, will be published in September.

The decision was reportedly taken by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, and relayed to Dame Stella by her successor, Sir Stephen Lander.

Ministers dropped their opposition to publication after she agreed to scrap a number of passages, and change others, on the grounds of national security, according to the Home Office.


There is not now any justification for the government resisting publication of the book, so we are not

Home Office
A spokeswoman said: "The government regrets and disapproves of the decision to publish a book - but that is not the same as resisting it.

"There is not now any justification for the government resisting publication of the book, so we are not."

Dame Stella, the first head of the secret service to be officially named and photographed, has faced strong opposition throughout Whitehall.

She is said to have been opposed by Sir Stephen and the head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, while the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Charles Guthrie, strongly criticised her attempt to publish.

But, after the 65-year-old reportedly threatened to invoke her right to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act, ministers and officials are said to have concluded that they could not block publication.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

22 Jun 99 | UK
Behind the MI5 myth
17 May 00 | UK
Shayler to 'return home'
22 Sep 99 | Britain betrayed
Spying Who's Who
17 May 00 | UK
The culture of secrecy
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories