Ken McCallum named the new head of MI5

MI5 has named current deputy director-general, Ken McCallum, as its new head. He is to take the reins from Sir Andrew Parker when he retires at the end of April.

McCallum has worked for the Security Service for almost 25 years. His time included overseeing all counter-terror investigations in the run-up to, and during, the 2012 London Olympics.

"MI5’s purpose is hugely motivating. 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," McCallum said.

Home secretary, Priti Patel said she had worked closely with McCallum since her own appointment, and that his succession comes at a time when the country is facing "unprecedented national security threats".

"I also would like to pay tribute to Sir Andrew Parker, who has led the service through a very challenging period which saw the threat to the UK evolve rapidly. He has served his country with dedication and commitment and I thank him for his efforts," she added.

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