To report an imminent threat call 999 or ring the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321
Current UK threat level: SEVERE Read more about threat levels >>

Sir Antony Duff (Director General 1985-88)

Portrait of Sir Antony DuffSir Antony Duff (1920–2000) joined the Service as its Director General in 1985. He previously had distinguished military and diplomatic careers.

During the Second World War, he served as a submariner and commanded HMS Stubborn. He earned a Distinguished Service Order for a daring escape from German destroyers in February 1944. Due to eye injuries suffered during this action, he left the Royal Navy and joined the diplomatic service after the war.

He served in a variety of high-profile diplomatic roles including ambassador to Nepal, high commissioner to Kenya and head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Africa department. He played a key role in the independence negotiations for Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He served as the country's last Deputy Governor before its independence in 1980. He was knighted in the same year.

Sir Antony subsequently became Deputy Secretary at the Cabinet Office, serving as Intelligence Coordinator, and chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee. He became Director General of the Security Service in March 1985. He served for two and a half years before retiring in January 1988. Under his management, he carried out important reforms of the Service to establish new working practices and personnel arrangements. This increased the Service's ability to deal with the terrorist threat. 

Fact or Fiction?
MI5 needs approval from a Secretary of State to carry out eavesdropping.

True False

Latest News

view ALL News

MI5 wins LGBT British Employer of the Year

MI5 has been named Employer of the Year at the 2018 British LGBT Awards.

Read Full Article ›

Director General Andrew Parker Speech to BfV Symposium

Director General Andrew Parker gave a speech to the BfV Symposium in Berlin on 14 May 2018.

Read Full Article ›