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MI6 chief apologises for past ban on LGBT staff

February 20, 2021 7:04 am
Gay people were prevented from working at MI6 [Source: BBC]

The chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, has publicly apologised for its historic treatment of LGBT people.

Richard Moore said a security bar on LGBT staff until 1991 had been “wrong, unjust and discriminatory”.

In a video posted on Twitter 30 years after the ban was lifted, he said it had also been counter-productive.

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MI6 “deprived ourselves of some of the best talent Britain could offer”, he said.

The MI6 chief has chosen LGBT History Month to offer both praise and contrition to those who were wronged by the ban.

Mr Moore, who is the only publicly identifiable member of MI6, said thousands of patriotic people were wrongly denied the chance to work in intelligence.

“The ban did mean that we, in the intelligence and diplomatic services, deprived ourselves of some of the best talent Britain could offer. Ready to serve but denied that opportunity,” he said.

Same-sex relationships were decriminalised in Britain in 1967, but it took a further 24 years before the ban on hiring LGBT staff across government was lifted.

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