Spy chiefs failed to tell Foreign Secretary a 'high-risk agent' had gone rogue after being given 'licence to kill'

SPY chiefs failed to tell the Foreign Secretary a “high-risk agent” had gone rogue and become involved in serious crimes after being given a “licence to kill”.

Offences committed abroad by the operative were exposed only by an independent regulator.

The spy agency did not make it clear to the government minister that the operative had committed criminal offences abroad until it was pointed out by an independent regulator last year.

The minister, understood to be either Dominic Raab or Jeremy Hunt, was being asked to renew authorisation of the agents’ activities without being given all of the information.

Six months previously the spy, thought to be an undercover informant, was sent some “red lines” by MI6 and warned that if it was breached it would “result in termination.”


However when MI6 sought the authorisation they didn’t make it clear that the “red lines” had “probably been crossed” until pointed out by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.

The IPCO said the Government “ought carefully to consider” whether greater oversight was needed into how agents overseas are run.

MI6 had been trying to authorise the spy’s “license to kill”, under section 7 of the Intelligence Services Act which allows British agents operating abroad to break any law without fear of prosecution in the UK with permission of the Foreign Secretary.

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