Michael Hanley

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Sir Michael Hanley
Allegiance United Kingdom Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Service MI5
Rank Director-General of MI5
Award(s) KCB

Born 24 February 1918
Died 1 January 2001(2001-01-01) (aged 82)
Nationality British
Occupation Intelligence officer
Alma mater Queen's College, Oxford

Sir Michael Bowen Hanley KCB (24 February 1918 - 1 January 2001) was director general (DG) of MI5, the United Kingdom's internal security service, from 1972 to 1978.


Educated at Sedbergh School and Queen's College, Oxford where he read History, Hanley served in the Royal Artillery during World War II and was subsequently posted to the Joint Allied Intelligence Centre in Budapest.[1] He rose through the grades to be Deputy Director-General of MI5.[2] He was Director-General of MI5 from 1972 to 1978.[3]

The BBC's current affairs programme Panorama reported that Hanley was investigated as part of the Elm Guest House child abuse scandal, which involved senior MPs and security personnel within the Operation Midland investigation, and was accused of sexual assault by a Metropolitan Police informant.


  1. ^ Obituary: Sir Michael Hanley Guardian, 6 January 2001
  2. ^ The Defence of the Realm, by Christopher Andrew, Page 548, Published by Allen Lane, 2009, ISBN 978-0-7139-9885-6
  3. ^ Andrew, Page 853
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Martin Furnival Jones
Director-General of MI5
1972 - 1979
Succeeded by
Sir Howard Smith

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