We spied on Trotskyists who are now close to Corbyn – ex-MI5 head
A former spy chief has admitted MI5 used to spy on some of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest supporters, a former director-general said.
Stella Rimington, who ran the agency between 1992-96, said yesterday that people MI5 had been looking at were now involved in Momentum.
Ms Rimington, said that she was in charge of counter-subversion during the 1980s, when her officers investigated the Communist Party of Great Britain and “various Trotskyite organisations”.
“I now see in Momentum some of the people we were looking at in the Trotskyite organisations in the 1980s,” she told the Cheltenham literature festival.
“They are now grown up and advising our would-be prime minister, Mr Corbyn, as to how to prepare for power. It is an ironic turn of events.”
Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for letting hard-left supporters infiltrate the Labour party.
Andrew Murray, the chief of staff to Len McCluskey, the Unite union general secretary, was invited by Mr Corbyn to help to run the party’s general election campaign this year.
He quit the Communist Party of Great Britain to join the Labour Party last year and has previously written of being in solidarity with North Korea.
At the festival, Ms Rimington was challenged as to whether the Communist Party were ever a real threat to democracy in the UK.
There had been criticism that too many resources and too much time was directed to spying on the group.
She insisted that they were a threat and wished to “destroy the democratic system of this country”.
“They were being directed by members of the Soviet Communist Party who were giving them large sums of money in order to do various things to oblige the Soviet Union,” she said.
She declined to name individuals within Corbyn’s close circles but said: “Their names are familiar.”