Latest top secret MI5 files released

A police photograph of Geoffrey Wladislas Vaile Potocki de Montalk (catalogue reference: KV 6/129)

A police photograph of Geoffrey Wladislas Vaile Potocki de Montalk (catalogue reference: KV 6/129)

Today we have made available to the public 102 previously top secret files from the UK Security Service – sometimes known as MI5.

The files reveal much about the activities of Cold War spies, communist sympathisers, the British fascist movement both during and after the Second World War, and other individuals subject to Security Service enquiry between 1926 and 1964.

Some familiar names include:

  • Nobel Prize winning writer Doris Lessing, who was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until 1956 (KV 2/4054 to 4058)
  • Soviet agent Cedric Belfrage, who studied at Cambridge University, and who the Kremlin at one point rated as more important than fellow ‘Cambridge Spy’ Kim Philby (KV 2/4004 to 4012).
  • human rights campaigner and Labour Party politician David Ennals, Lord Ennals of Norwich (KV 2/4041 to 4042)

You will find files on Harold Laski, who was a committee member of the Friends of the Soviet Union in 1936 (KV 2/4078 to 4079). There are also files on Austrian-born Edith Tudor-Hart, who is thought to have first recruited Philby into Soviet intelligence (KV 2/4091 to 4093).

Listen to an introduction to the files by Professor Christopher Andrew, former official historian of MI5, or read more on our blog.

Explore the files

Tags: cold war, document release, file release, mi5, second world war, security service