Wednesday, 31 August 2016
I’ve been reading the manuscript of Martin Pearce’s Spymaster, a gripping and candid new biography of the late Sir Maurice Oldfield, my former constituent and one-time head of MI6. Sir Maurice had to resign as Margaret Thatcher’s Northern Ireland security
co-ordinator when stories of his homosexuality surfaced. Pearce (Sir Maurice was his great-uncle) reveals that Mrs Thatcher visited him on his deathbed and — alone with her former appointee — asked him point-blank if he was gay. He confessed. His family found the dying man weeping after she had gone.
Two years earlier in 1979 Scott-Hopkins’s Westminster secretary was taken aside conspiratorially by the retiring MP and warned that for reasons he knew but could not reveal, she should have nothing to do with his successor — me. Dear Eileen, who now has dementia, confided in me decades later. She had ignored him, bless her, to become my secretary.
Now, in Spymaster, I learn that Scott-Hopkins had been an MI6 officer too.
Matthew Parris, The Times.
In next week's news, Danny LaRue was a drag act.