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Operation Surprise: leaked emails expose secret intelligence coup to install Boris Johnson

Leaked emails reviewed by The Grayzone reveal possibly criminal plot by pro-Leave elites to sabotage Theresa May’s Brexit deal, infiltrate government, spy on campaign groups, and replace May with Boris Johnson.

by Kit Klarenberg
    Intelligence cabal infiltrated UK civil service thanks to “centrally placed mole”

    Ex-MI6 chief Richard Dearlove pitched espionage operations targeting civil service and campaign groups

    Fake Democratic Party fronts run by CIA veterans were proposed to infiltrate pro-Remain groups

    Cabal sought to spy on and disrupt Prime Minister’s top Brexit negotiator

    Shadowy billionaires funded effort in total secret

    Dearlove claimed credit for influencing government policy on Huawei

    Cabal now seeking to remove Boris Johnson

    These efforts could amount to charges of TREASON 

Part 1

Leaked emails and documents reviewed by The Grayzone have exposed the dimensions of a wide-ranging conspiracy managed by a shadowy cabal of hardcore Leavers to sabotage former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, remove her from office, replace her with Boris Johnson, and secure a ‘hard’ withdrawal from the EU.

The emails demonstrate that a group of operatives linked to the intelligence services and wealthy, reclusive pro-Brexit financiers spied on campaign groups, infiltrated the civil service, and targeted high-profile Remainers with reputational destruction. While the majority of British voters elected to assert their independence from the EU, this clique of mostly unknown influence agents sought to subvert the process and manage it according to their own elite interests.

Among their key objectives was to strengthen the security relationship between London and Washington, thus supplanting EU authority with more substantial US oversight.

The cabal, which continues to exert insidious, undue influence on British politics, politicians and policy to this day, is composed of wealthy financiers, representatives of the military and defense establishment, and intelligence officials.

The origin of the tranche of emails, which were shared with The Grayzone anonymously, is unknown. However, this reporter has verified the authenticity of the emails and documents contained therein through their metadata, among with other evidentiary sources. Much of the content would be impossible to counterfeit or doctor. 

The public interest in these private communications is abundantly clear, as the actions exposed in the tranche are so flagrantly anti-democratic they could lead to criminal investigations of at least some of the actors involved.

The cabal appears to be led by Gwythian Prins, a member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategy Advisory Panel, former NATO and Ministry of Defence advisor, and board member of pro-Brexit group Veterans for Britain.

Prins’ bio on his speakers’ bureau advertises him as a “leading thinker on strategy” who has “worked with leading decision makers around the globe from business leaders all the way up to heads of state, helping them to improve their decision making by educating them on the complex psychological processes underpinning theses[sic] decisions.

He is joined by former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove, who is frequently dubbed “C” in the leaked emails, a reference to the operational initial granted to all heads of Britain’s foreign intelligence service. At one point, Dearlove and Prins sought to recruit their apparent friend, Henry Kissinger, and his consulting firm as trans-Atlantic lobbyists for their version of Brexit.

Dearlove’s MI6 1999 through 2004 tenure was typified by controversy, thanks largely to the deceptions he advanced to justify the war on Iraq. The longtime spook played a prominent role in selling that illegal war to the media and politicians. Dearlove was ultimately singled out for censure in an official inquiry into the conflict, which found that he had passed on bogus intelligence testifying to Baghdad’s non-existent WMD directly to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The cabal also includes historian Robert Tombs, a pundit and emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge.

A leaked file authored in August 2018 by Prins spells out the cabal’s bold and malicious objectives in vivid detail. Motivated by a desire to “take the fight to our opponents, who are remorseless, by all necessary means,” its members sought to:

Block any deal arising from the disastrous and craven Chequers White Paper; ensure that we leave on clean WTO [World Trade Organisation] terms; if necessary, remove this Prime Minister [emphasis added] and replace with one fit for purpose; cleanse the polluted civil service from top to bottom.

Months later, in an email disseminating highly sensitive briefings for PM May on EU withdrawal, Prins instructed Dearlove: “Now kill her and it.

Published in July 2018, the “Chequers White Paper” set out a potential blueprint for London’s “managed divergence” from Brussels. Criticized by Leavers as a recipe for continued EU membership by other means, the plan prompted then-Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to resign in protest.

For months by that point, Brexiteers had been leveling aggressive attacks on the civil service, Britain’s permanent bureaucracy, charging that the body’s purported Remainer sympathies led its members to block London’s withdrawal.

The cabal, for its part, was ferociously opposed to any arrangement that would keep Britain tethered to Brussels’ defense structures and obligations, contending that it would undermine the US and UK-led ‘Five Eyes’ global spying network. So convinced of this was Prins that he dismissed unsubstantiated rumors of Russian support for Brexit as “maskirovka,” on the basis Moscow’s “strategic interest” was in fact to keep London “weakened and hobbled” in a “collapsing EU.

To achieve the cabal’s ends, Prins proposed an “influence campaign” to “defeat” prominent Remainer groups, including Best for Britain. He also sought to establish a “coordinating committee” of all major Brexit operations tied to Vote Leave, the official campaign to leave the European Union. And he planned an unspecified “intelligence operation,” presumably to undermine opponents of a hard Brexit. 

Inspired by a quote from Master and Commander, a 2003 Hollywood blockbuster dramatizing the Royal Navy’s 19th century derring-do, the subversive effort was dubbed “Operation Surprise.”

Funding for what amounts to a covert political plot appears to have been furnished by wealthy backers including Tim and Mary Clode, an aristocratic husband and wife based in Jersey, a notorious British tax haven.

Little information can be found online about the Clodes. In a leaked email sent to Prins, the pair noted they had “studiously avoided all interaction with social media,” adding they were “quite good at consciously discreet conversations, if required.”  

Despite their reclusiveness, the Clodes are clearly well-connected. In the acknowledgements of his 2014 book, Exocet Falklands, author Ewen Southby-Tailyour thanked the couple for providing, “advice, wise counsel, further contacts…and priceless snippets from afloat, ashore, in the air and along the corridors of military and civilian power.

Allegedly, Julian ‘Toby’ Blackwell, owner of the Blackwell publishing empire, also rustled up funds for the operation. An arch Brexiteer and multimillionaire who bankrolled numerous Leave entities, his Who’s Who entry lists his hobbies as “fighting Eurocrats and chopping firewood.

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