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1963: Philby confirmed as 'third man'
Former Foreign Office official Harold Philby has admitted he was the "third man" in the case of British diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean.

Security services are now aware that using information he gained while working for the MI6 in Washington, Mr Philby warned the pair that intelligence services were on their trail. This information enabled them to escape to the Soviet Union.

It is now apparent Mr Philby was a double agent working for the Soviet authorities during his time with the foreign office.

The news was announced in the House of Commons by the Lord Privy Seal Edward Heath.

"This information, coupled with the latest message received by Mrs Philby, suggests that when he left Beirut he may have gone to one of the countries of the Soviet Block" he said.

British authorities had always suspected there was a "third man" and asked if this new evidence confirmed it to be Mr Philby the reply from Mr Heath was, "yes".

Mr Philby, often known as Kim, had been working as a journalist in Beirut when he disappeared four months ago.

When Mr Burgess and Mr Maclean defected to the Soviet Union in 1951 Harold Philby was singled out as someone who could have warned them.

As a result of this he was forced to resign from his post at the Foreign Office by the then Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden.

The investigation into the case was never closed.

Today's revelations have been ridiculed by Mr Burgess, speaking from Moscow he maintained that Mr Maclean had been alerted when "over-eager MI5 sleuths" bumped into his car.

Mr Maclean refused to comment.

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Harold 'Kim' Philby
Harold Philby was better known as Kim

In Context
Harold Philby was recruited by the Soviets during his time at Cambridge University.

He was a member of a group called Communist International.

Once in Moscow Mr Philby became a Russian citizen and re-married.

He worked as a general for the KGB and was awarded the Order of Lenin for services to the country.

He died in Russia in 1988 and was buried with full military honours.

Mr Philby was nicknamed Kim after a spy character in a Rudyard Kipling book.

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