40 Years Ago — Thatcher Names Blunt as “The Fourth Man” (November 16 1979)

“I believe she [Thatcher] did it because she didn’t see why the system should cover things up. This was early in her prime ministership. I think she wanted to tell the civil service that the politicians decide policy, not the system. She wanted them to know who was boss.”

Sir Bernard Ingham — Thatcher’s press secretary

On November 16 1979, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher named Sir Anthony Blunt — a former security service officer and personal adviser on art to the Queen —  as the “fourth man” in the Cambridge spy ring. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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The announcement – given in a written answer in the Commons – ended a 15-year cover-up.

Mrs Thatcher revealed he had confessed to the authorities in 1964 but under a secret deal was granted immunity from prosecution.

Minutes after the Prime Minister’s statement, Buckingham Palace said he was being stripped of his knighthood.

He had been part of a Cambridge spy ring made up of Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Harold “Kim” Philby – who was in charge of British intelligence’s anti-communist counter-espionage from 1944 to 1946.

Burgess and Maclean defected in 1951 following a tip-off from Philby, who himself defected to Moscow in 1963.

Blunt Outed as Soviet Spy – 1979 | Today In History | 15 Nov 1979  

On November 15, 1979, the British government publicly identified Sir Anthony Blunt as the “fourth man” of a Soviet spy ring.

See footage of Blunt’s public statement in the aftermath.

REFERENCES

Anthony Blunt — Wikipedia

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On This Day — Thatcher Names Blunt as the “Fourth Man” (November 16 1979)

40 Years Ago — Thatcher Names Blunt as the “Fourth Man” (November 16 1979)

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