Sunday, March 31, 2024

Spook-friendly intelligence firm courts Labour - and what it's got to do with this blog's hero Vaughan Wilkins

The current Private Eye brings news that the "spook-friendly" intelligence firm Hakluyt is helping build bridges between business and the Labour Party.

In the last year or two it has hired Emily Benn from the party dynasty, former Labour minister Shriti Vadera and former Labour candidate Andrew Hilland. The last two were both close to Gordon Brown when he was at Number 10.

Not only that, says the Eye. Hakluyt also invited Darren Jones to its "secretive" conference last year and helped to fund Peter Kyle's recent trip to California to meet tech bosses.

The Eye reminds us that Hakluyt was set up by former MI6 officers to sell intelligence skills to the private sector.

One reason the firm is of interest to this blog is that one of those former officers was Christopher Wilkins. He is the son of the historical novelist Vaughan Wilkins, who has his own label here.

Christopher Wilkins may have been named after the hero of his father's first novel, And So - Victoria. Which gives me an excuse to end with a reminder of how the authorities thought it was thought far too scandalous to be filmed when it was published in 1937.

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