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GCHQ chief takes job in private security company

The head of GCHQ is joining a private security company after six years leading the intelligence agency through major events such as the Salisbury poisoning, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising Chinese spying activity.

Sir Jeremy Fleming will join the board of Gallos, which specialises in security technology, and has a number of former members of British and American security establishment in senior positions.

He stood down as GCHQ chief in May and was replaced by Anne Keast-Butler, the first woman to take on the role.

During his six year tenure at GCHQ, Fleming spoke about the dangers from Russian aggression - ranging from the attempted Skripal assassination to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

He has warned of the high-risks entailed in the nuclear sabre rattling which has come during the war.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ,  is joining private security company Gallos (PA)
Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, is joining private security company Gallos (PA)

However, Fleming holds that China is the “real long-term threat” to the security of the UK and the West, stressing that Beijing is “deploying its ideologies in ways that we think are against our national interests”.

The GCHQ director has also spoken about the cyber threat posed by adversary states and criminal gangs, pointing to the support his service had to give to Britain’s health sector to counter targeting of vaccine research by hackers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cyber security was extended under Fleming with the establishment of the NCSC ( National Cyber Security Centre) and NCF ( National Cyber Force) and the setting up of a new GCHQ centre in Manchester.

Fleming took over at GCHQ amid claims by Donald Trump that the agency had carried out an eavesdropping mission on him at Trump Tower at the behest of President Barack Obama.

GCHQ described the allegation as “ utterly ridiculous” and Trump later held he was merely repeating what had been said by “ a very talented lawyer on Fox”.

Before joining GCHQ,Fleming was deputy director of MI5, leading a number of operations including the response to the 2005 London terrorist attacks and the secueity preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

Speaking about his new role in the private sector with Gallos, Fleming said: “At a time when the world faces rapidly growing and evolving digital threats, fuelled by geopolitical instability, it’s crucial that we promote innovation in security technologies.

“Our ability to protect both people and businesses, in the UK and other allied nations, depends on developing and harnessing the technologies of the future.”