Delores Kane

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Delores Kane
Kane in 2005
Born (1965-12-24) 24 December 1965 (age 58)
Middlesbrough, England
Known forWhistleblower

Delores Kane[1][2] (born David Shayler, 24 December 1965) is a former British MI5 officer and a conspiracy theorist.[3] Kane was prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act 1989 for passing secret documents to The Mail on Sunday in August 1997 that alleged that MI5 was paranoid about socialists, and that it had previously investigated Labour Party ministers Peter Mandelson, Jack Straw and Harriet Harman.[4]

Early life[edit]

Kane was born in Middlesbrough, England. When she was ten, her family left Yorkshire. She attended John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire whose head teacher, according to Kane herself, once described her as "a born rebel who sails close to the wind ... and suffers neither fools nor their arguments gladly".[5] Beginning in 1984, Kane attended the University of Dundee where she was editor of the student newspaper Annasach and was responsible for publishing extracts of the book Spycatcher by another former MI5 officer Peter Wright (banned in Britain at the time).[6] She graduated with a 2:1 (2nd class honours upper division) degree in English in July 1989. After leaving university she worked as a journalist at The Sunday Times newspaper although her employment was terminated six months later.[7]

MI5 career[edit]

Kane joined MI5 in October 1991 after responding to an oblique job advertisement in the 12 May edition of The Observer titled "Godot isn't coming", a reference to the play Waiting for Godot in which Godot never arrives. The advert asked if applicants had an interest in current affairs, had common sense and an ability to write. Believing the job was media-related, Kane applied.[8]

She started work in F branch, which dealt with counter-subversion, including the monitoring of left-wing groups and activists, where she worked vetting Labour Party politicians prior to the 1992 election, later being transferred to T branch, which handled Irish terrorism, in August 1992. Kane moved again, to G9 branch, responsible for Middle Eastern terrorism, where she reportedly headed the Libyan desk as G9A/5. It was during her tenure at the Libyan desk that she claims that she learned of the MI6 plot to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from her MI6 counterpart David Watson (PT16B) and Richard Bartlett (PT16) who had overall control and responsibility for the operation.[9][10] She left the service in October 1996.

After MI5[edit]

Kane stated that MI6 had been involved in a failed assassination attack on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in February 1996 without the permission of the then foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind. The plot involved paying the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group with supporters in London and links to Al-Qaeda, £100,000 to carry out the attack.[11] The group was paid to plant a bomb underneath Gaddafi's motorcade. The attack happened in March 1996 in Gaddafi's native Sirte, a coastal city. The bomb was planted under the wrong car and failed to kill Gaddafi but did result in the deaths of several innocent civilians.[10] In November 1999 she sent a dossier of detailed evidence of this including the names of those involved to then home secretary Jack Straw who stated that "he was... ...looking into the matter"[12] as well as Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee and the police. In 2005, the LIFG was banned as a terrorist group in Britain.

Kane claimed the intelligence services were deliberately planting stories in newspapers and the mainstream media by feeding willing journalists with misinformation, such as a November 1996 article in The Sunday Telegraph by Con Coughlin linking Gaddafi's son with a currency counterfeiting operation, citing the source as a British banking official when in reality the source was MI6. This was later confirmed when Gaddafi's son served the paper with a libel writ which later admitted the true source of the information.[13]

According to Kane the 1994 bombing of the Israeli embassy in London was known to the intelligence services before it happened, and could have been prevented.[14] The British government later placed an injunction on the republication of Kane's claims although this was later lifted on 2 November 1997 allowing the paper to print her claims of how the attack could have been prevented if the service had acted on prior knowledge it had obtained. On 26 July 2000 she had an article published in Punch (magazine) that claimed the security service had information that could have prevented the 1993 Bishopsgate bombing.[15]

After revealing information to The Mail on Sunday in August 1997, Kane fled the day prior to publication, first to Utrecht in the Netherlands and then later to France with her girlfriend and former colleague Annie Machon and was arrested by French police on 1 August 1998 with an extradition warrant on the request of the British government and then held in La Santé Prison for four months under the prisoner number 269151F.[16] On 18 November 1998 the French courts determined the British government's extradition request was politically motivated and therefore not grounds for extradition. In 2000, Kane appeared on Have I Got News for You via satellite, where she was the subject of a number of jokes.[17]

Return and trial[edit]

Delores Kane talking at an anti-war meeting at Sheffield University in 2004

In August 2000, Kane voluntarily returned to the UK on condition she was not remanded in custody pending her trial.[18] She was arrested and subsequently released on bail. She was charged with three counts of breaching the Official Secrets Act 1989 on 21 September 2000, one charge of passing on information acquired from a telephone tap (a breach of Section Four of the Act), and two others of passing on information and documents obtained by virtue of her membership of the service (a breach of Section One of the Act).[19] The judge at the trial was Alan Moses.[20] At pre-trial hearings, he ruled that Kane had to disclose all information and argument she intended to present to the jury to the judge and prosecution beforehand.[21]

At the trial Kane represented herself, claiming that the Official Secrets Act was incompatible with the Human Rights Act and that it was not a crime to report a crime; these arguments were dismissed by the court with the latter being ruled irrelevant.[21] Kane's defence attempted to argue that there were no other avenues to pursue her concerns with the service and its performance. The judge ruled that while this was true it was irrelevant.[22] The judge instructed the jury to return a guilty verdict and that the House of Lords had ruled in another case that a defendant could not argue that she had revealed information in the public interest. After more than three hours of deliberation the jury found him guilty.[23] In November 2002 she was sentenced to 6 months in prison, of which she served three weeks in Belmarsh prison and just under five weeks in Ford Open Prison, with the four months served on remand in France being taken into consideration. She was released on 23 December 2002, although she was electronically tagged and under a 7pm to 7am curfew for a further seven weeks.[24]

Lifestyle and beliefs[edit]

9/11 truth movement[edit]

Following the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, Delores Kane joined the 9/11 Truth movement, which maintains as its primary tenet the belief that the official explanation for the September 11, 2001 attacks is partly (or completely) fraudulent. Kane claims the planes seen crashing into the World Trade Center were missiles wrapped in holograms, as well as saying that the attack on the Pentagon was not the result of a plane impact. She also alleged that this was part of a zionist conspiracy[25]

In February 2007, Kane appeared in Ireland with Annie Machon and William Rodriguez.[26] Both Kane and her former partner, Machon, have repeatedly claimed that the mainstream British media have misreported their statements and judgments passed against them[27] in an attempt to smear their reputations.

Claims of divinity[edit]

Kane speaks positively about David Icke, an individual who has claimed to be the son of God: "David has done some enormously important work. I see him as the John the Baptist to my Christ. I have spoken to him on the phone and suggested we meet." Kane has also claimed divinity herself. Kane has said she is committed to destroying what she calls the "Zionist empire".[28]

Gender identity[edit]

In an article in the London Evening Standard on 12 April 2012, Kane further discussed the Messiah claim and revealed that she was living as a transgender woman in a squat, Hackhurst Farm in Abinger Hammer, Surrey.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Milmo, Cahal (28 July 2009). "What renegade MI5 officer David Shayler did next..." The Independent. London. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  2. ^ Kirby, Terry (12 April 2009). "Meet Delores, the ex-MI5 officer now living as a woman". The Standard. London. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  3. ^ Wadham, John (21 August 2000). "David faces Goliath". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Timeline - David Shayler's MI5 secrets". BBC. 18 November 1998. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Shayler: The exiled spy". BBC News. 26 February 2000. Retrieved 4 July 2006.
  6. ^ BBC: Troubled history of the Official Secrets Act
  7. ^ Watson-Smyth, Kate (2 August 1998). "Who is David Shayler?". The Independent. London. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  8. ^ Ronson, J,(2011), The Psychopath Test, Picador: London, p.201
  9. ^ Bright, Martin (10 November 2002). "MI6 'halted bid to arrest bin Laden'". The Observer. London. Retrieved 4 July 2006.
  10. ^ a b "BBC screens Shayler interview". BBC News. 8 August 1998. Retrieved 4 July 2006.
  11. ^ Gambill, Gary (24 March 2005). "The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)". The Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2006.
  12. ^ "David Shayler: Don't shoot the messenger". The Guardian. London. 27 August 2000. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  13. ^ Leigh, David (12 June 2000). "Tinker, tailor, soldier, journalist". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 July 2006.
  14. ^ Mark Hollingsworth & Nick Fielding (1999). Defending The Realm: MI5 and the Shayler Affair. London. pp. 145–147. ISBN 0-233-99776-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  15. ^ "Judgments - Her Majesty's Attorney General (Appellant) v. Punch Limited and another (Respondents)". UK House of Lords. March 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  16. ^ "Whistle-blower on the web". BBC News. 7 September 1998. Retrieved 4 July 2006.
  17. ^ "Whistleblower calls the tune". BBC. 21 August 2000. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  18. ^ "British agent returns to be arrested". Tampa Bay Times. 22 August 2000.
  19. ^ Kelso, Paul (22 September 2000). "New charge against Shayler". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 July 2006.
  20. ^ Daley, Paul (10 October 2002). "Judge gags media in tell-all spy case". Sydney Morning Herald.
  21. ^ a b Norton-Taylor, Richard (4 November 2002). "Behind the MI5 trial". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  22. ^ "Richard Norton-Taylor and John Wadham: The public has the right to the truth". The Guardian. London. 6 November 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  23. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (5 November 2002). "Shayler faces jail after jury rejects impassioned plea". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  24. ^ Staff and agencies (23 December 2002). "Freed Shayler vows to clear name". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 July 2006.
  25. ^ "Meet the No Planers". New Statesman. London. Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  26. ^ "Rodriguez, Shayler & Machon come to Cork Tuesday Feb 27th". Indymedia. 22 January 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  27. ^ Machon, Annie (2005). Spies, Lies, and Whistleblowers. MI5, MI6 and the Shayler Affair. Book Guild. ISBN 185776952X.
  28. ^ Milmo, Cahal (27 July 2009). "What renegade MI5 officer David Shayler did next..." The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Machon, Annie (2005). Spies, lies & Whistleblowers. MI5, MI6 and the Shayler affair. Lewes, East Sussex: The Book Guild Ltd. ISBN 1-857-76952-X.
  • Hollingsworth, Mark; Fielding, Nick (1999). Defending the Realm: MI5 and the Shayler Affair. Andre Deutsch Ltd. ISBN 0-233-99667-2.

External links[edit]