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Old 05-12-2018, 07:57 PM   #15
grimstock
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Revealed: how the BBC used MI5 to vet thousands of staff

(Note: Nobody can "use" MI5 - Only MI5 employs MI5!)

It is a tale of secret agents and surveillance that could have come straight out the BBC's classic spy drama Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
But the difference is that genuine spies were involved and they were operating behind the scenes at Broadcasting House rather than on the small screen.

Confidential papers, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, have revealed that the BBC allowed MI5 to investigate the backgrounds and political affiliations of -thousands of its employees, including newsreaders, reporters and continuity announcers.

The files, which shed light on the BBC's hitherto secret links with the Security Service, show that at one stage it was responsible for vetting 6,300 different BBC posts - almost a third of the total workforce.

They also confirm that the corporation held a list of "subversive organisations" and that evidence of certain kinds of political activity could be a bar to appointment or promotion.

The BBC's reliance on MI5 reached a peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s at exactly the same time as millions of viewers were tuning into the fictional adventures of George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and -Smiley's People.

David Dimbleby, John Humphrys and Anna Ford all began their careers with the broadcaster when the system was still in place.

The papers show that senior BBC figures covered up these links in the face of awkward questions from trade unions and the press. The documents refer to a "defensive strategy" based on "categorical denial". One file note, dated March 1 1985, states: "Keep head down and stonewall all questions."

The BBC, however, has always refused to be drawn on the extent of its collaboration with the secret services.

It is only now, after a request by this newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act, that it has finally been willing to release details of the vetting operation.

Another internal BBC document, dated 1983, confirms: "We supply personal details to the Security Service. If there is any adverse information known, we receive this information and also, where necessary, an assessment based upon the involvement of the individual. This is presented to us as advice; line management then make the decision as to action."

Read more:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...-of-staff.html


(Quote, "the BBC allowed MI5 to investigate" ) ROFL - you couldn't make it up if you tried!

Last edited by grimstock; 05-12-2018 at 08:13 PM.
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