First female director of GCHQ is revealed after Jeremy Fleming quit as head of intelligence agency | The Sun

BRITAIN's top spymaster will be a woman for the first time, it was announced today.

Anne Keast-Butler will become GCHQ's 17th Director following the departure of previous boss Jeremy Fleming.

She is currently deputy director at MI5 and will take up her new post as the nation's most senior spook in May.

Until now GCHQ has not had a female chief in its 104-year history.

Ms Keast Butler said: "I am delighted to be appointed as the 17th Director GCHQ.


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"GCHQ’s mission to keep the UK safe is as inspiring today as it was when it was founded more than 100 years ago, operating at the very heart of the UK and our allies’ response to some of the most challenging issues of our time.

"In just the last year GCHQ has contributed vital intelligence to shape the West’s response to the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine; helped disrupt terrorist plots; and worked tirelessly to tackle the ongoing threat of ransomware, the impact of which costs the UK dearly."

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Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: "Anne Keast-Butler has an impressive track record at the heart of the UK’s national security network, helping to counter threats posed by terrorists, cyber-criminals and malign foreign powers.    

“She is the ideal candidate to lead GCHQ, and Anne will use her vast experience to help keep the British public safe.”

Mr Fleming said: "Anne’s appointment is fantastic news for the organisation."

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