Paul Martin (ex-MI5)

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Paul Martin is the director of security for Parliament and the former head of public affairs at MI5.


After graduating from Cambridge University, Martin was appointed Harkness Fellow and postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University in 1982. He 1983 went back to Cambridge as a junior lecturer in behavioural biology.[1]

In 1988 Martin joined MI5 and was appointed head of public affairs in 1996. In 2000 he was appointed director of communications at the Cabinet Office, the link between Downing Street and departments of governments. He assisted former minister Mo Mowlam as her media minder.[2] Other roles included leading national security preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.

In February 2013 Martin joined the Houses of Parliament as the director of security. He was initially hired after concerns over foreign agents penetrating Parliament's computer system. Because of Parliament's status as a Royal Palace rather than a Government department it does not automatically receive the same level of computer protection as Whitehall so is considered the weak link by the security services.[3]

In May 2015, Martin's role led to the House of Common's serjeant at arms, Lawrence Ward, quitting his role. Ward was unhappy at Martin working in Parliament but retaining his security services pass and briefing the country's most senior spooks, believing it to be a breach of the centuries-old principle that a sovereign parliament should be independent from all arms of the government.[4]


The Guardian reported that Martin undertook the full range of M15 work, including fieldwork mainly in the Middle East, but did not serve in Northern Ireland:

Under his direction, M15 crept into the light, if not quite the world of open government: setting up a website, announcing a phone number, and putting more of its old files in the public record office. Mr Martin also encouraged the director general, Stephen Lander, to hold discreet lunchtime briefings at M15's headquarters, accompanied by copious amounts of white wines from the Loire valley.[2]

His work also involved attempting to suppress the revelations of dissident former MI5 officer David Shayler.[2]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Linkedin Paul Martin CBE, accessed 26 May 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Patrick Wintour Mowlam recruits MI5 spin doctor The Guardian, 6 April 2000, 26 May 2015.
  3. Glen Owen MPs hire top spy to protect emails from Chinese hackers: 'Panic' in the Commons amid fears over cyberagents Daily Mail, 10 March 2012, accessed 26 March 2015.
  4. Glen Ward and Martin Beckford Serjeant at Arms quits over MI5's 'honeytrap hunter' in Commons: MPs fear in-house spook is spying on their emails, but agent says he's there to keep out female spies Daily Mail, 24 May 2015, accessed 26 May 2015.