Former spy boss Dearlove goes on payroll of the firm with 'no names'

It's a powerful network with analysts worldwide, and one notable mission is in Libya. Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, appears to found a home from home with his first business appointment as a "senior advisor" to the Monitor Group.

It's a powerful network with analysts worldwide, and one notable mission is in Libya. Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, appears to have found a home from home with his first business appointment as a "senior adviser" to the Monitor Group.

Not that anyone at the international consultancy and finance firm is admitting the man once known only as "C" is on their books. Callers to its London outfit are frostily informed it is a "no name" company. The appointment is, however, listed by the Committee on Business Appointments, the watchdog that vets private-sector jobs taken by former civil servants.

Although the company is silent on what help the former intelligence chief provides, it was recently chosen by Libya to help to oversee economic reform. British intelligence was chosen by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as the go-between when he decided to surrender his country's nuclear programme.

Sir Richard is not the first former British spymaster to accept a well-paid business job: Stella Rimington and Pauline Neville-Jones both joined big British companies.

Meanwhile, the first witness account of the summit at which Tony Blair committed Britain to join the US-led war in Iraq is to be published later this year. Sir Christopher Meyer, Britain's former ambassador to Washington, is writing his memoirs, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. The diplomat was present when Mr Blair met George Bush in the President's ranch at Crawford in March 2002 and played a key role in the run-up to the war.

His decision to go public will dismay Mr Blair, who has repeatedly denied he agreed to "regime change" a year before the invasion. The book, as yet untitled, is to be published on the eve of Labour's annual conference, a gathering that could prove deeply uncomfortable for the leader.

Sir Christopher, now chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, is keeping his counsel about the book's contents but stresses it will be "not just about Iraq".

The former ambassador's words on Iraq have already, unwittingly, embarrassed Downing Street ­ when a memo from him written the day after the Crawford summit was leaked last year. Detailing a meeting with US administration figures, he wrote: "We backed regime change but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option."

Sir Christopher's account is likely to make uncomfortable reading for Mr Blair, according to friends of Sir Christopher. A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said he would be bound by the usual rules governing former civil servants' memoirs, which require the permission of the Cabinet Secretary. The book, to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson, faces competition from a forthcoming tome by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's former ambassador to the UN and Special Representative in Iraq.

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