Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove to speak at Letchworth Settlement

Sir Richard Dearlove, who was head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Sir Richard Dearlove, who was head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004. Picture: Wikimedia Commons - Credit: Archant

A former head of MI6 is set to give a rare insight into the world of espionage and counter-terrorism when he speaks in Letchworth this month.

Sir Richard Dearlove headed the Secret Intelligence Service from 1999 to 2004 in the role fictionally known in the James Bond universe as ‘M’ – in real life ‘C’, but even then only informally.

The former spy chief, a member of MI6 for almost four decades, made national headlines in June when he penned a Daily Telegraph election-day editorial in which he asserted that it would be “profoundly dangerous” for the UK if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister – adding that he didn’t believe the Labour leader would clear MI6’s security vetting.

He was also in the press in April, when he alleged that US President Donald Trump had used money borrowed from Russia to prop up his real estate empire during the 2008 financial crisis.

Sir Richard, 72, was master of Pembroke College at Cambridge University from 2004 until his retirement in 2015.


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He will speak at the Letchworth Settlement in Nevells Road at 7.45pm on Friday, September 29, and explore the threats facing the UK in recent years and into the future.

His talk is just one of the events on during the autumn term at the Settlement, which starts on Monday, September 11.

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Spaces are available for courses on topics as diverses as modern languages for beginners, literature, Victorian crime and punishment, flower arranging and sociology.

Settlement manager Sonia Weston said: “The majority of our courses are taught at the Settlement, but we are always keen to try new ideas.

“For example, our Art and About course in Cambridge will be done on location with our expert tutor Sarah Burles – who is both an art historian and Cambridge graduate.

“Closer to home, there are some fascinating special interest courses which explore a range of subjects including French architecture, Art and the Garden and the Silk Roads.

“We are proud of the wide range of courses we have on offer this year and have worked hard to make our prices as competitive as possible.”

To find out more see letchworthsettlement.org.uk or call 01462 682828.

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