A deeply anti-democratic MI6-linked cabal’s apparent influence on Priti Patel raises serious questions about her fitness to rule on Julian Assange’s extradition to the US.
Cabal now managing MI6-inspired “research and influence operation”
Effort may be funded by intelligence agency actors
British Home Secretary implicated in plot
Green advocates and perceived Chinese agents targeted
Home Office infiltrated by cabal’s civil service mole
Cabal seeks to seize power over energy policy and “displace” government minister
British Home Secretary Priti Patel is due to imminently decide on whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is extradited to the US, where he faces life imprisonment for journalistic activities.
The Grayzone can exclusively reveal that Patel appears to be embroiled in a covert “research and influence operation,” directly inspired by MI6 “principles and methods” and guided in part by Richard Dearlove, the foreign spying agency’s former chief.
While the Home Secretary may not be fully apprised of the dark forces swirling around her, and the purposes for which she is being exploited, there is incontrovertible evidence that her ministerial agenda and Home Office policies are being directly influenced as a result of her links to the shady group.
“Dark Ullen” to be “conducted on the same broad principles and methods as an [MI6] research and influence operation”
This May 15, the Grayzone exposed a shadowy intelligence cabal’s plot to sabotage Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, remove her from office, and replace her with Boris Johnson in order to secure a ‘hard’ withdrawal from the EU. The cabal pursued a variety of undemocratic, if not outright criminal methods to achieve its aims.
A vast tranche containing leaked email messages between members of the cabal provided the sourcing for that exposé. Further communications reviewed and verified by The Grayzone point to more recent, shockingly diabolical schemes.
These include plots to smear environmental activists as communist agents of Chinese influence, paint Ukrainian refugees as potential Russian double agents seeking to carry out terror attacks on British soil, and “displace” Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng.
The spectral group’s apparent leader and puppet master is Gwythian Prins, a member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategy Advisory Panel, and former NATO and Ministry of Defence advisor. On January 21st, Prins wrote to former MI6 director Richard Dearlove – a key member of the cabal – outlining the terms of ‘Dark Ullen’, the codeword title of “our China project.”
“Dark Ullen will have no structure and hence no post-holder titles: it will be conducted on the same broad principles and methods as an SIS [MI6] research and influence operation [emphasis added],” Prins wrote, adding that he would seek annual remuneration of £60,000 for the effort. The operation’s “sun king” would be invoiced as a sole trader, not an employee, so British tax authorities would not consider Dark Ullen a commercial entity and ask further questions.
Who or what ultimately underwrote Dark Ullen has not been confirmed. As The Grayzone’s previous investigation detailed, the cabal can depend on sizable financing from a number of wealthy and reclusive Brexiteers.
In a separate email in October 2020, Prins proposed to Dearlove the establishment of a “Vauxhall Cross unit,” a reference to the headquarters of the UK’s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service. Making clear he was “fully prepared” to enter Dearlove’s “world,” Prins suggested if the former spook’s “successor” saw “our value to him,” they might “fund the operation.” Could this have been a reference to John Scarlett, or another subsequent MI6 director?
Next, on February 21, 2022, Prins told Patrick Robertson, director of the pro-Brexit Bruges Group think tank, to remark that he was “honoured” to have met Patel face-to-face earlier that evening. He referred to the Home Secretary as “a refreshing change from the soggy mass of current politicians.”
Cabal proposes anti-green activist attack with “the sort of work that MI5…would be doing”
During Prins’ summit with Patel, he provided her with an extensive, practically impenetrable diagram of environmental and green energy advocates, outlining their proximity to Downing Street. The chart offers an apparent snapshot of the MI6-inspired “research and influence operation” Prins proposed.
Considering the various actors on the elaborate diagram to be potential or actual Chinese agents, Prins sought to have them undermined, maligned, and worse. One “person of interest” cited was Ben Caldecott, founding director of Oxford University’s Sustainable Finance Group.
Prins contended Caldecott was not only troublingly “ubiquitous,” but “potentially open” to “blackmail/voluntary conversion” by Beijing, for reasons unstated. He nonetheless pledged that Dark Ullen, once initiated, would engage in “the sort of work that MI5 run properly would be doing” to target Caldecott, along with other perceived Chinese snakes in the grass: spying, discrediting, and disruption, presumably, with the Home Office’s backing and imprimatur.
Several Tory lawmakers have shared copies of a pamphlet Prins published on climate change, in which the author contends “the racism of Critical Race Theory, support for Marxist purposes of Black Lives Matter and anarchism of deep green activism are all grist to the mill of the UFWD [China’s Ministry of State Security United Front Work Dept].”
The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics where Prins formerly taught slammed the Tory operative in September 2021 essay, branding the views expressed in his climate change pamphlet as “weird propaganda.”
Finding “a way” to influence Priti Patel
In his email to Robertson of the Bruges Group, Prins requested that a dedicated Dark Ullen protonmail address be created for Patel so they could remain in contact. He further advised that the Home Secretary use the encrypted messaging app Signal “for swift messaging me should she so wish.”
He added that Evelyn Farr, a “centrally-placed” infiltrator in the civil service, “really liked” Patel too, and was “all up” to join the Home Office “if a way can be found.”
As The Grayzone previously revealed, Farr passed sensitive inside information to the cabal, which in turn credited her with a “vital” role in torpedoing Theresa May’s Brexit deal, and indeed her premiership.
Three days after proposing a secret line to Patel, Prins emailed a copy of Farr’s CV to Robertson, along with a list of articles she wrote under the pseudonym Caroline Bell advocating for a No Deal Brexit. The document was specifically earmarked for the Home Secretary’s private perusal. A “way” to Patel had evidentially been found.
Dearlove, who was copied on the communique, branded the resume “ideal,” but described the article list as “deadly” and for Patel’s eyes only, as “it tells a Remainer PUS [permanent undersecretary] who our source was in their midst and why the Withdrawal Agreement went belly up [emphasis added].”
Prins subsequently warned Robertson that he and Patel should “tightly” protect these incriminating documents, “which in the wrong hands blow [Farr’s] cover because they show how central she was as an asset to all of us during the grisly May Days and how vital to our eventual success [emphasis added].”
In a subsequent email that same day to Robertson and Dearlove, Prins stated that as Farr would soon be “alongside” Patel, it was necessary to promptly “craft a strategy and build political alliances to place ” the Home Office, Ministry of Defence and “to a degree” the Foreign Office in control of British energy policy, in order to “displace” Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng.
Prins emphasized his desire to “cull” Kwarteng’s department outright, dubbing it a “hangover” from the “interventionism” of David Cameron’s government. He also called to “lift the fracking ban,” ramp up production of North Sea oil and gas, increase energy imports from the US, Israel and Qatar, and precipitate a “showdown” with “watermelon useful idiots.” Once their “centrally-placed” civil service infiltrator was safely ensconced with Patel, the planned Dark Ullen war on environmentalism – and China – would begin in earnest.
Patel parrots paranoid cabal talking points on Ukrainian refugees
Meanwhile, an actual war was raging in Eastern Europe. On March 9th, at a time of rising and widespread condemnation of London for failing to welcome substantial numbers of Ukrainian refugees, Prins emailed Robertson, Farr, and Dearlove a set of ‘key messages’ for the Home Office. This content could be “turned into an op/ed” and published under Patel’s name, or serve as a speech, which would allow her to “regain control over the visa narrative.”
One of those ‘key messages’ was that by offering sanctuary to those fleeing Russia’s military operation, the UK could expose itself to hordes of “‘false flag’ murdering agents of Putin.” The paranoid framing was a clear reference to the purported Novichok attack on GRU double agent Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, in March 2018.
Just ten days after Prins furnished his talking points, which can be viewed in full here, Patel used her Conservative Party conference address to make that precise charge, invoking the Salisbury incident along the way.
“The truth is that a very small number of people can wreck utter havoc, and Russia has a history of covert hostile activity,” Patel declared on March 19. “And I’m afraid it is naive and misguided to think that only men can be covert operatives, or that refugee flows would not be subject to some form of exploitation.
“There are those who would come to our country, to this country, who would mean us harm and who plot to strike at our very way of life.”
Patel inextricably linked to security state hellbent on destroying Assange, antiwar dissenters
Even before Patel’s connection to an MI6-linked domestic influence operation was exposed, she was burdened with conflicts of interest that compromised her fitness to rule on sensitive, seismic matter like the extradition of Julian Assange.
As UK journalist Matt Kennard has documented, Patel sat on the advisory council of the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society think tank alongside Lord James Arbuthnot – a former Conservative Minister of Defence whose wife, Lady Emma Arbuthnot, made two key rulings against Assange in 2018, before being forced to step aside due to a “perception of bias.”
The Henry Jackson Society has counted CIA director James Woolsey as a patron since 2006, and hosted three other former chiefs since 2014, including then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2020. While leading the CIA in 2017, Pompeo designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” which opened the floodgates for untrammeled surveillance, harassment, and persecution of Assange and his collaborators, leading the Agency to hatch a scandalous plot to kidnap or even kill the WikiLeaks founder.
In a grotesque twist of fate, the person in charge of whether innocent victims of conflict can enter Britain will also decide whether the world’s most famous anti-war activist and publisher, Julian Assange, should exit.
While there do not appear to be any crib notes or talking points regarding the persecuted WikiLeaks founder in the tranche of leaked emails reviewed by The Grayzone, it is safe to assume the intelligence cabal bringing its influence to bear on Patel would strongly favor his extradition to the US.
Indeed, the cabal’s members seem to view anyone who departs from their imperialist worldview, or who stands in the way of their maximalist agenda, as absolute traitors. Prins’ apparent belief that those who advocate for environmentally friendly energy policies are secret communist agents of influence emanates from the same worldview.
The cabal’s paranoid tendencies are underscored by a leaked email in which Dearlove compares former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to a Cold War MI6 defector, insisting that the social democratic politician simply “could not be Prime Minister,” as Corbyn “belonged to the other side on so many crucial questions.”
Assange’s extradition to the US would reflect the unfairness of the 2003 Anglo-US Extradition Treaty, a measure that deepened Britain’s role as an American vassal, and which will determine Assange’s fate.
The cabal has sought to permanently cement this servile relationship with Washington, conniving to ensure a hard Brexit that will remove the UK from EU security commitments and enshrine US dominion.
Patel and the government department she heads are core components in the ongoing effort to intertwine Britain at every level with US military and intelligence structures, operations, and goals.
As the person who did more than perhaps anyone to expose the sinister inner workings of the trans-Atlantic alliance, and who popularized the bulk release of sensitive secret documents that the email tranche detailed here represents, the very existence of Assange poses an ever-present threat to these cynical designs.