MI6’s new “C” has been announced after Boris Johnson backed the appointment of the Foreign Office’s political director as the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).
Richard Moore, a former ambassador to Turkey, was named on Wednesday as the successor to Sir Alex Younger, who will leave the UK’s foreign intelligence service in the autumn.
The Foreign Office said Mr Moore has previously held director roles in MI6 and has been deputy national security adviser in the Cabinet Office.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab appointed the former intelligence officer, who worked for the SIS in the UK and overseas, to become the new chief with the agreement of the Prime Minister.
“He returns to SIS with tremendous experience and will oversee the work of a group of men and women whose tireless efforts are rarely seen in public, but which are critical for the security and prosperity of the UK,” Mr Raab said.
Having first joined MI6 in 1987, Mr Moore went on to serve as the UK’s ambassador to Turkey between 2014 and 2017.
His FCO profile also says he has had postings in Vietnam and Turkey between 1990 and 1992, as well as in Pakistan and Malaysia.
The father-of-two was born in Libya, speaks fluent Turkish and is a keen golfer who enjoys watching cricket and rugby. His interests are also listed as Turkish carpets and porcelain, and visiting historical sites.
Mr Moore said he was “pleased and honoured to be asked to return to lead my service”, which he says plays a “vital role” keeping Britons safe and promoting UK interests overseas.
Sir Alex said: “Richard is a highly accomplished intelligence officer and we look forward to welcoming him back to the service.”