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New book offers 'unprecedented' MI6 access

21st September 2010

A new book recounting the history of MI6 will give readers an unprecedented insight into the Secret Service, the author has claimed.

Professor Keith Jeffery says he was given complete access to the archives at MI6 when researching MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, which is published today (September 21st).

According to the writer, the only request from MI6 was that he did not name some traitorous agents.

Among the controversial subjects covered in the book is the sabotage of ships carrying Jewish refugees to the British Mandate of Palestine after World War II.

Professor Jeffery told the BBC he had been granted access to the 'holy grail' of British archives.

He added: 'It is closed tight to everyone, so when I got in there, I was like a child in a sweet shop. It was a cornucopia, an extraordinary Aladdin's cave of historical materials.'

The British Secret Service also comes under the spotlight in John Le Carre's latest novel Our Kind of Traitor, which draws on experiences from his own life as a spy in the 50s.

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