Friday, January 02, 2015

New light on Moura Budberg, Nick Clegg's great great aunt

Back in November 2007 I wrote an article about Moura Budberg, Nick Clegg's great great aunt, for the New Statesman website.

I wrote:
Part of Moura’s mystique was that throughout her career it was equally possible to imagine her working for either side. The Allies or the Germans. The Whites or the Reds. The British or the Soviets. 
The enigma had not been solved by the time of her death in 1974, but there is a remarkable postscript to her story. 
A few years ago a batch of secret service files was released. They revealed that in 1951 Moura had told a British agent - a guest at one of her celebrated dinner parties - that Anthony Blunt was a Communist. But the report was ignored and MI5 did not rumble Blunt until 1964.
Andy McSmith has a substantial article in today's Independent - it is based on a trawl of documents in the National Archives at Kew - and comes to much the same conclusion.

Bertie Wooster adds: It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.

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