Universities `riddled' with Cold War spies

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The Independent Online
THE FUTURE of Dr Robin Pearson, the lecturer accused of being a East German secret service agent, is to be discussed by Hull University, amid claims that universities across Britain were "riddled" with spies during the 1970s.

A university spokesman said yesterday it would be deciding if any action would be taken against Dr Pearson, the university's director of postgraduate studies.

In a BBC TV programme last night Dr Pearson, 43, was said to have been a Stasi agent.Dr Pearson, his wife, Sarah, and two children have not been seen at their home near the university for two months. It has been put up for sale for pounds 38,500 and the family are said to have gone on holiday to Barbados.

The programme said that in 1977 Mr Pearson was at Edinburgh University, where he was studying German and history. On a year-long postgraduate secondment to Leipzig he was said to have been singled out by Stasi recruiters.

Yesterday, a leading academic at Edinburgh University claimed that universities across Britain were "riddled" with spies during the 1970s.

Professor John Erickson, former head of the centre for defence studies claimed his students included a "large number of people working for foreign agencies" during the Cold War.

The spokesman for Hull University said yesterday: "We will be collecting all the facts, which will then be assessed."