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by John Helmer, Moscow 

The plot to rid the British Government of the man who combined more domestic and foreign policy-making powers than any British official in peacetime was not a clandestine Kremlin operation directed by President Vladimir Putin.

But the sacking of Sir Mark Sedwill, the grammar school head-boy who became Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor under Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018, removes the plotter-in-chief of the Skripal affair, the Novichok plot, and the campaign of British info-warfare against Moscow over the past two years.  

The man who defeated Sedwill, Dominic Cummings, chief adviser of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is the only official in the prime ministry to have operated under cover in Russia. What  Cummings’s cover was has never been publicly revealed from his counter-intelligence vetting.  The rise of Cummings has also not been reported by the NATO propaganda unit Bellingcat and the Murdoch press to have been a clandestine Kremlin operation.

Between the two plots, Sedwill’s and Cummings’s, the outcome is now a small space in which the British will reflect on how far Sedwill, and co-conspirator Sir Alex Younger, chief of MI6, took  Anglo-Russian policy past Germany and France to the one promoted in Washington by John Bolton.  Sedwill’s term as supremo has run almost exactly parallel to Bolton’s. Sedwill’s removal would have been as swift as Bolton’s sacking last September if not for the corona virus pandemic. That was not a clandestine Chinese plot.

Younger, Sedwill’s old classmate at St. Andrews University, has now been in the secret intelligence service post for six years; that’s longer than any of his predecessors for the past half-century. If Younger follows Sedwill out the door, the cranny between the plots will be a little wider.  

For Sedwill’s role in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, read this

For Cummings’s role in Russia, read this.  

Sedwill’s exit was announced as his resignation on Sunday evening. The London press had been reporting “it had been expected for some months amid rising tensions with the prime minister’s inner circle.”  The BBC, the state propaganda organ, reported from Sedwill’s typewritten letter of resignation. It did not report that Prime Minister Johnson was in such haste to see Sedwill’s back he didn’t wait for a typist but scribbled an instant letter of acceptance.

The Murdoch press launched Sedwill’s defence the next day, claiming he was glad to be gone.  

He is “relieved”, reported Rupert Murdoch’s spokesman, “to leave behind a dysfunctional and divisive Downing Street. ‘He’s fed up with them,’ the ally told me. ‘There’s only so much you can put up with and the way they operate is appalling.’” Domestic, not foreign policy, was the block on which Sedwill’s head was chopped.  “The latest stand-off can be partly explained by the fact that a pandemic blame game is already under way. Downing Street wants to pin responsibility on the civil service but officials know what mistakes have also been made by ministers and political advisers.”

Sedwill is to be given a seat in the House of Lords; the job of shuffling papers on security policy before next year’s G7 summit meeting in the UK;  and the promise that when the current NATO  secretary-general retires at the end of 2022, Sedwill will be the British candidate for the job.  

The Telegraph beamed the foreign policy implications from the mouth of William Hague,  Foreign Secretary  from May 10, 2010 to July 14, 2014,   who declared himself an early patron  of Sedwill’s rise. “Sir Mark has been a pretty good example of the risk-taking and expertise – on national security – that Michael Gove [Cabinet Office Minister] correctly wants to encourage.  I first met him when he was Ambassador to Afghanistan – not exactly a cushy number with a full-scale war going on and the embassy itself often under attack…” Hague led the anti-Russian campaign after the US coup in Kiev in February of 2014, but he had left office a few days before the sanctions campaign escalated with the US claim that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 had been shot down by Russia.  

By the time the Skripal attack occurred on March 4, 2018, Hague was publicly behind Sedwill and Younger, cheering them on.  

“It is time for apologists to recant, optimists to become realists, and pacifists to slink away”, Hague wrote. “Whatever measures Britain takes against Russia, what will really count is a realisation, from Washington to Brussels to Berlin, that a full scale strategy of the West is needed to show strength and resolve in the face of unacceptable behaviour.” Source:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/

This week Hague has attacked the new National Security Advisor, David Frost, for being  insufficiently supportive of Younger, whom he calls a “consultant surgeon who has spent a lifetime performing difficult operations.”   Frost is a French and Greek speaker, with a long career in western Europe as a regular diplomat; Sedwill was an MI6 agent under diplomatic cover and is the current president of the Special Forces Club, a London watering-hole for  spetznaz.    

“The final issue I would take with the weekend’s changes,” according to Hague, “is that the appointment of David Frost as National Security Adviser – Mark Sedwill’s other position – sits uneasily with Michael Gove’s desire that top officials should be ‘as knowledgeable as a consultant surgeon’ about their areas of responsibility. Mr Frost is clearly very capable and has impressed the Prime Minister – there should indeed be a senior role for him. But out there in our intelligence agencies, there are a lot of ‘consultant surgeons’ who have spent a lifetime performing difficult operations. You can’t pass them all over while calling for more expertise without eyebrows being raised, or indeed daggers sharpened.”

So far, noone in the British Deep State has begun broadcasting Frost’s record on the war against Russia. If Younger is aiming to hold the line against Russia and hang on to his job, his spokesman, Mark Urban at the BBC, has yet to report it. Instead, Urban has been retweeting in solidarity with Sedwill, and in criticism of Frost.

Source: https://twitter.com/MarkUrban01

Sedwill’s and Younger’s supporters at the CIA are also biting their tongues. Their outlets at the New York Times and Washington Post , who fabricated their new Russian assassination plot last Friday,  have yet to report the fresh blood spilled in London over the weekend. John Bolton has been too busy fronting for the sale of his memoirs to defend the back of Sedwill.

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