Govt announces spy and spin appointments

By Jonathan Moore

The new head of MI6 who will head up Britain’s foreign intelligence and espionage operations will be current UN ambassador Sir John Sawers, the government announced today.

Sir John will replace incumbent John Scarlett in November when the latter is due to retire. He has significant experience dealing with international operations, having served as both the principal private secretary to foreign secretary Douglas Hurd and foreign affairs adviser to Tony Blair.

It was also announced today that Simon Lewis, former public relations officer to the Queen, will take over as Gordon Brown’s director of communications at the end of July.

Mr Lewis, whose brother Will is the editor of The Daily Telegraph, will replace outgoing spokesman Michael Ellam who is returning to the Treasury where he was formerly a senior civil servant.