Former MI5 boss to become law lecturer

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By Adam Mawardi on

Sir Andrew Parker takes up visiting prof role at Northumbria Law School

Sir Andrew Parker – credit: MI5

The former director general of the UK’s security service will become a visiting professor at Northumbria Law School, it has been announced.

Sir Andrew Parker — who headed up the country’s domestic intelligence agency (also known as MI5) since 2013 before stepping down in April — will take up his new role at the Newcastle-based university this autumn.

Before becoming MI5’s top dog, Parker boasted a 37-year career during which he worked across a wide range of national security and intelligence roles in areas including international terrorism, counter espionage, as well as serious and organised crime.

In 2005, Parker was appointed MI5’s director of international terrorism and tasked with leading the agency’s response to the 7/7 London bombings. In 2006, his team went onto foil Al Qaida’s attempted attack on airplanes using liquid bombs hidden in drink bottles.

Commenting on his new position, Parker said:

“As someone who is from the North East I am delighted to be returning to my roots and to have this opportunity to engage with Northumbria’s law students. It will be a learning experience for me — and hopefully offer a beneficial learning experience for them.”

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The former national security chief added: “Counter terrorism and counter espionage are becoming progressively more challenging as the nature of threats we face evolves and technologies advance at pace. Tackling these threats is complex, but whether it’s through tried and tested methods, such as the use of agents as informants, or new ways of using technology, for example for surveillance, judicial oversight and understanding the law will play a crucial role. These are some of the issues I am looking forward to discussing and debating at Northumbria.”

This high-profile appointment comes after former politician and attorney general Dominic Grieve QC accepted a visiting professorship at Goldsmiths, University of London last June. Grieve served as the UK’s chief legal adviser between 2010-2014 under the coalition government. A prominent remainer, Grieve was then ejected from the Conservative party last year after backing a bill in attempt to stop a no-deal Brexit. He remains a public law specialist at Temple Garden Chambers in London.

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