New head of MI5 to start this month

MI5 has appointed a new director-general, who is set to take over the role later this month.

Ken McCallum has been the security agency's deputy director-general since April 2017 and has served it for more than 25 years in total.

During this time he has overseen a number of high-profile cases, including investigations into thepoisoning of Sergei Skripal and the Northern Ireland peace process, as well as planning for the 2012 Olympics.

Mr McCallum will replace Sir Andrew Parker, who is to step down after seven years, although there will be a transitional handover period between the two.

"Our people - with our partners - strive to keep the country safe, and they always want to go the extra mile. Having devoted my working life to that team effort, it is a huge privilege now to be asked to lead it as director-general," said Mr McCallum in a statement.

He is believed to have a particular interest in cyber security and how artificial intelligence may be harnessed to fight hostile state and terrorist activity.

Mr McCallum will become the 18th head of MI5 since its foundation in 1909 and also its youngest ever, although there has been no official confirmation of his age.

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