Barrie Gane

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Barrie Gane (Barrie CharlesGane, CMG OBE) is a former deputy head of MI6, and was tipped to succeed Sir Colin McColl. However, he decided to leave the Service on early retirement after a rationalisation in 1993, and open up his knowledge and network for privatised intelligence companies.

After he left MI6 Gane was hired by Group 4, Britain's largest security firm whose clients range from the prison service to the royal family and the government, and boasts of its ability to guard its customers against espionage, sabotage and subversion. At that moment in time Gane was the most senior member of the intelligence service to have joined the private security sector. A Group 4 spokesperson commented: “His knowledge of international affairs is particularly useful in the development of our strategy and international growth.”[1]

The industry's experts say his contacts will be invaluable in recruiting staff from a pool of highly-trained military and secret service agents, left jobless with the collapse of their Communist regimes, the Daily Mail wrote in 1993.[2] At the time The Times concluded the appointment of Mr Gane signals an upgrading of its international operation. "Mr Gane can bring the company knowledge of international terrorism, commercial espionage and risk assessment."[3]

The Times also wrote: "There is no suggestion that he was unhappy with SIS but he has told friends that he was immensely pleased with the deal he had achieved with the company. An intelligence source remarked: 'It's not only that there are bigger salaries in the private sector but there is a greater degree of freedom to get on with the job and run your own ship.'"

Mr Barrie Gane has joined the security firm as director of group research, according to the Daily Mail. Later on he worked for the Group 4 Securitas Head Office as a consultant. This was until the merger between Group 4 and Falck in 2000, at which point he transferred to Global Solutions Ltd, the custodial services division of Group 4 Falck. GSL was divested from Group 4 in 2004.[4]

Barrie Ganes was also on the board of Threat Response International, Evelyn le Chêne's corporate intelligence company that spied on activist groups to sell the gathered information to large companies.[5]

When the Sunday Times revealed that Threat Response spied on road protesters in the nineties, a Group 4 spokesman admitted buying information on protesters. Group 4, which carried out work on behalf of the Highways Agency as well as construction companies such as Costain and Tarmac, helped police many of Britain's most controversial road-building projects.[6]


MI6 chief McColl was expected to retire in September 1992. He reluctantly stayed to oversee changes, the move into the new headquarters and the expected financial cuts because of the end of the Cold War. Barrie Gane belonged to the old Sovbloc élite who agreed with the assessment of the continuing Soviet threat and who resisted changes of focus and priorities. In what became known as 'the Christmas Massacre', senior officers were told of their fate a month before the changes took effect in January 1993. Older MI6 directors and a whole layer of Management were replaced or offered early retirement. 'Young Turk' and non-Sovbloc officer David Spedding took over from Gane as Director of Requirements and Production. [7]


Mr Gane was awarded an OBE in 1978 and a CMG in 1988. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

According to the Diplomatic List 1966 - 1977 [8]

  • 1960 joined Foreign Office
  • 1961 third secretary in Vientiane, Laos
  • 1963 seconded to the staff of the gover-norship of Sarawak (Laos)
  • 1966 returned to the Foreign Office in Britain
  • 1967 Warsaw, Poland
  • 1967-1970 Kampala, Uganda
  • 1977 returned to desk work
  • 1977-1980 Hong Kong


  1. ^ Corporate Watch UK, Group 4 Falck, A Corporate Profile, Corporate Watch UK, updated July 2003
  2. ^Daily Mail, GROUP 4 SPIES A TOP RECRUIT, May 27, 1993
  3. ^Christopher Elliott, Richard Ford and James Lanale, Senior appointment boosts Group 4's international work, The Times, May 26, 1993
  4. ^ Statement from Group 4 Securitas press officer, emails to editor, 23 May and 7 June 2006.
  5. ^ Companies House information 2003 and 2006.
  6. ^ Security firm spied on road protesters, The Sunday Times - Britain, 05 October 2003
  7. ^ Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service, New York, 2000, p. 753, 759-760.
  8. ^ on Gane