Airey Neave Trust

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This article is part of the Counter-Terrorism Portal project of Spinwatch.

The Airey Neave Trust commemorates the late Airey Neave DSO OBE MC MP who was assassinated in the Palace of Westminster in 1979.

In 1975, Neave was the campaign manager for Margaret Thatcher's victorious attempt to become leader of the Conservative Party. He was rewarded with the post of head of her private office. He was then appointed shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and was poised to attain the equivalent Cabinet position when he was assassinated. Neave is alleged to have been involved with some right-wing security service plots against Harold Wilson's Labour government, such as the Clockwork Orange project in Northern Ireland.

The Trust is active in two main specific areas:


The Trust funds research designed to have a practical impact 'to the greatest extent possible' on issues of 'tyranny and injustice'. Topics studied include slavery, torture, biological warfare, minority rights and compensation for the victims of violence. [1]


The Trust has worked closely with research institutes in the United States. In 2001 it organised a joint seminar attended by many leading British and American practitioners in the field of counter-terrorism, which 'analysed the issues confronting all of us today and identified areas for further research'.[1] In 2005 it stated that

In response to the growing terrorist threat, the work of the Trust is increasingly focused on the need to support those with policy responsibilities for counter-terrorism. The first project, launched with the involvement of the Metropolitan Police, aims to prevent, deter, disrupt and detect terrorist activity particularly in its preparatory stages. The second is a £50,000 two-year study on "Transnational Networks and the Implications for International Security". This is being undertaken by a member of the Cambridge Security Programme.
The Trustees wish to build on this work by expanding research into practical counter-terrorist issues. Among the proposals currently under consideration are radicalisation of Islamic youth, suicide bombers and countering terrorist hostile surveillance within the UK.[1]

In 2007 the Trust announced a new working group as part of this continuing focus on supporting counter-terrorism policy initiatives and research:

With this in mind, an Airey Neave Working Group has been formed. As well as representatives from the Airey Neave Trust, it consists of a small group of members drawn from across the private, academic, financial, security (police and military) spectrum, and some Government Departments. It meets on a quarterly basis to discuss counter terrorist research matters, runs work shops and conferences, and draws together like-minded individuals and organisations. Its key objective is to identify topical and timely Counter Terrorist research projects, arrange funding and supervise the work. Recent and typical research areas and work-shop topics have included radicalisation of Islamic youth, threats to transport systems, motives of suicide bombers, terrorist financial systems, transactional networks and security, money-laundering and arms sales, the utilisation of cash couriers.
The Airey Neave Trust identifies some of the research and conference topics and provides funding. However, it continues to give financial support to more traditional, long term research, which come to it from major universities and academia.[2]


The Trust also focuses its attention on Home Office approved refugees, already in the United Kingdom who need to perfect their knowledge of English and to requalify in their professions. Support is concentrated in the higher education field, principally post graduate work.

Fundraising events have, according to the Trust's website, included:

the organisation of a race evening in the City of London every year for the past seventeen years, which have raised over £150,000; a concert in St John’s, Smith Square, in 1996, two Quiz Nights, one in the Duke of York’s HQ, and the other in the Imperial War Museum in 1999, all three again making substantial profits for the work of the Trust.[3]

The Trust also funds the University of Bradford's Department of Peace Studies and the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence. Bruce Hoffman, vice president for external affairs for RAND Corporation and a founding director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence) is chairman of the International Research Group on Political Violence, jointly sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace and the Airey Neave Trust. [4]


The President

The Rt Hon The Lord Mayhew of Twysden QC DL: Solicitor General for England and Wales from 1983 to 1987, and then Attorney General for England and Wales from 1987 to 1992. He was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1992 to 1997, the longest anyone has served in this office


  • Dame Veronica Sutherland. DBE CMG (Chairman 2001- 12 May 2011[5]): Joined the Diplomatic Service in 1965 her career included the following posts: 2nd, later 1st Secretary, Copenhagen [Denmark] (1967-70); Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1970-75); 1st Secretary, New Delhi [India] (1975-78); FCO (1978-80); Counsellor (1981); Permanent UK Delegate to UNESCO (1981-84); Counsellor, FCO (1984-87); Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire (1987-90); Assistant Under-Secretary of State (Personnel), FCO (1990-95); Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland (1995-99). Current Principal of Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General. She is a member of the Academic Council of the FCO's Wilton Park. Sutherland was a participant in the The Cambridge Security Seminar.
  • The Hon Marigold Webb - daughter of Airey Neave and trustee since 2003
  • Mrs Hannah Scott: Administrator

Trustees appointed from 2007:

Trustees appointed from 2009:



On April 12, 1999, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), together with the Airey Neave Trust, convened a working group meeting on the subject "How Terrorism Ends." The workshop began with an overview of the problem by Martha Crenshaw. Her presentation was followed by three case studies. In the first, Paul Wilkinson of St. Andrews University discussed the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and in the second, Jon B. Alterman of USIP discussed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In the third case study, Teresita Schaffer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies discussed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have been fighting for autonomy for Tamil-populated areas in Sri Lanka for almost two decades. [7]

Further reading

Routledge, Paul (2002) The Day I Met Airey Neave's Killers, Mail On Sunday, 3 March:

"...the killing has spawned only conspiracy theories. Enoch Powell, the Tory-turned-Ulster Unionist, blamed the CIA. The motive, apparently, was that Neave's plans to reintegrate Northern Ireland within the UK would deny the United States a role in a final settlement of the Irish problem. Other elements of the secret state have also been accused: journalist Kevin Cahill believes Neave was on the point of instituting a large-scale overhaul of the security services. While working as a Commons researcher in 1984 he became friendly with security staff and claims not one of them believed terrorists planted the bomb; it was an inside job. 'Everyone knew what happened,' he was told, but it was too dangerous to speak about it in detail.

Clockwork Orange:

"'Clockwork Orange' is the name of the secret British security services project which was alleged to have involved a right-wing smear campaign against British and Northern Irish politicians in the 1970s. The project was undertaken by members of the British intelligence services and the British Army press office in Northern Ireland, whose job also included routine public relations work and placing disinformation stories in the press, as part of a psychological warfare operation against paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland."

Margaret Thatcher House of Commons Speech a tribute to Neave


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Airey Neave Trust Research, website snapshot 23 Dec 2005
  2. Airey Neave Trust, 1.Research, website snapshot of 27 July 2007
  3. Airey Neave Trust, Fundraising, website snapshot 23 December 2005, accessed March 2011
  4. Cornell, News: Bruce Hoffman, 15 April 2004, accessed March 2011
  5. New Chairman for The Airey Neave Trust, 24 January 2011
  6. Airey Neave Trust, Trustees, accessed 9 March 2011
  7. USIP, Special Reports

[[Category:Terrorism foundations