Secret BBC unit shredded MI5 files on journalists in 1992

A secret BBC unit, operating in conjunction with MI5 to vet journalists during the Cold War, existed until 1992, before it was disbanded and all its documents shredded, claims a former employee.

Michael Hodder, who ran the unit in its later years, said his team were responsible for vetting thousands of the broadcaster’s employees for extreme left-wing views, refusing jobs to those deemed unsuitable.

Its existence first came to light in 1985 when the Observer newspaper published details of the operation which was subsequently wound down – although no-one had ever actually been blacklisted in at least its last 17 years of operation.

Hodder assumed leadership of the unit in 1988 where he served until it was finally closed in 1992 and all its files were destroyed. ‘I shredded the lot’ Hodder said.

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